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including the Protectorate of Oliver Crom- 
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Historical and Literary 
Memorials <&*<& 

jt jt & Of the City of London 


John Heneage Jesse 

In Two Volumes 
Volume I. 

Boston &&&& 
L. C. Page & Company 
j* jfc j MDCCCCI 





Traditions of Hyde Park Corner Sir Thomas Wyatt 
Charles the Second and the Duke of York Sir Samuel 
Morland Winstanley Pope Lord Lanesborough 
Apsley House The "Pillars of Hercules " Origin of 
the Name Piccadilly Eminent Persons Who Lived in 
the Neighbourhood . . . ...... . 21 



The Green Park Duel between the Earl of Bath and Lord 
Hervey Hyde Park in the Reigns of Henry the Eighth, 
Queen Elizabeth, Queen Anne, Cromwell, and Charles the 
Second Famous Duel between Lord Mohun and the 
Duke of Hamilton M'Lean and Belchier the Highway- 
men Mysterious Incident to the Duke of Marlborough 47 



Mayfair Mayfair Chapel Singular Marriages Curzon 
Street South Audley Street Grosvenor Square 
Portman Square Cavendish Square Hanover Square 
Bond Street Berkeley Square 77 




St. James's Street Clubs Colonel Blood - Cocoa Tree 
Tavern Thatched House Death of Gibbon Byron 108 



Bennet Street Arlington Street Park Place St. 
James's Place Cleveland Row King Street Al- 
mack's Little Ryder Street Bury Street . . .125 



St. James's Square Duke of Hamilton Frederick, Prince 
of Wales Johnson and Savage Jermyn Street Lord 
St. Albans Sir Walter Scott . . . . .133 



Former State of Pall Mall Sir Thomas Wyatt Murder 
of Thynne Charles the Second's Mistresses Beau 
Fielding's Strange Adventure Schomberg House 
Star and Garter Duke of Buckingham's Residence 
Carlton House . . . . ,t . . . 146 


Site of St. James's Palace Erected by Henry the Eighth 
The Residence of Queen Mary, Henry, Prince of 
Wales, Charles the First, Mary de Medicis, Charles 
the Second, James the Second, William the Third, 
George the First, George the Second, and Daughter . 174 




Original Enclosure Charles Going to Execution Crom- 
well Skating Game of Pall-mall Charles the Sec- 
ond Queen Anne Marlborough House The Mall 

Spring Gardens Buckingham House . . . 206 



Westminster, King Street Residence of Spenser, Carew, 
Lord Dorset, Cromwell Great Plague Mrs. Oldfield 

Downing Street Gardiner's Lane Cannon Row 

St. Margaret's Church The Sanctuary . . .244 



The Sanctuary Persons Who Took Refuge There The 
Gatehouse Its History Tothill Street The Streets 
of Old Westminster Westminster School Remark- 
able Persons Educated There . . . ... 275 



Its Early Regal Builders and Tenants Edward the Sec- 
ond and Gaveston Death Scene of Henry the Fourth 

Henry the Eighth the Last Resident Court of Re- 
quests Painted Chamber Gunpowder Plot St. 
Stephen's Chapel Old and New Palace Yard . . 298 



Its Erector The Hall for the Coronation and Banquet- 
ings of the English Kings Extraordinary Scenes and 



Remarkable Trials Which Have Occurred There from 
the Time of William Rufus Till the Present Day . 359 



Early Places of Worship on Its Site Erection of the 
Present Edifice Scenes and Ceremonies in It Poets' 
Corner Chapels of St. Edmund, St. Nicholas, St. Paul, 
Edward the Confessor, Islip, Henry the Seventh Clois- 
ters Jerusalem Chamber Chapter House . ' . 441 


THE GREAT FIRE Frontispiece 

MONTAGUE HOUSE . . .... 88 


CARLTON HOUSE . . * . , *7i 

MRS. OLDFIELD . . . * 2 5^ 



Memorials of London. 




Traditions of Hyde Park Corner Sir Thomas Wyatt Charles 
the Second and the Duke of York Sir Samuel Morland 
Winstanley Pope Lord Lanesborough Apsley House 

The " Pillars of Hercules " Origin of the Name Piccadilly 

Eminent Persons Who Lived in the Neighbourhood. 

HYDE PARK CORNER, as the great western 
approach to London, seems to be the most 
appropriate place for commencing our antiquarian 
rambles. The spot, too, in itself, possesses great 
interest. It was here that Sir Thomas Wyatt 
"planted his ordnance" in his famous attempt 
on London in 1554; and here also, on the threat- 
ened approach of the royal army in 1642, the 
citizens of London hastily threw up a large fort, 
strengthened with four bastions ; in which zealous 
work of rebellion they were enthusiastically aided 
by their wives and daughters. Butler tells us, in 
his inimitable " Hudibras : " 


" From ladies down to oyster-wenches, 
Laboured like pioneers in trenches ; 
Fell to their pickaxes and tools, 
And helped the men to dig like moles." 

I have seldom crossed the road between Consti- 
tution Hill and Hyde Park, without calling to 
mind the well-known retort which Charles the 
Second gave his brother, the Duke of York, on 
this particular spot. Charles, who was as fond 
of walking as his brother was of riding, after 
taking two or three turns, and amusing himself 
with feeding the birds in St. James's Park, pro- 
ceeded up Constitution Hill, accompanied by the 
Duke of Leeds and Lord Cromarty, into Hyde 
Park. He was in the act of crossing the road, 
when he was met by the Duke of York, who had 
been hunting on Hounslow Heath, and who was 
returning in his coach, attended by an escort 
of the royal horse guards. The duke immedi- 
ately alighted, and after paying his respects to the 
king, expressed his uneasiness at seeing him with 
so small an attendance, and his fears that his 
life might be in danger from the hands of an 
assassin. " No kind of danger," said the merry 
monarch, " for I am sure that no man in England 
will take away my life to make you king." x 

Close to Hyde Park Corner, the well-known 

1 Doctor King tells us that Lord Cromarty was in the constant 
habit of relating the story to his friends. 


mechanist, Sir Samuel Morland, had a country 
house. A letter of his, addressed to the high- 
minded and ingenious philosopher, John Evelyn, 
is dated from his "hut near Hyde Park Gate." It 
was to the town house of Sir Samuel, at Lambeth, 
that Charles the Second passed from the palace of 
Whitehall by water, to pass the first night of his 
almost miraculous Restoration with Mrs. Palmer, 
afterward the too celebrated Duchess of Cleve- 
land. Winstanley, another ingenious mechanist, 
who lived in the reign of Queen Anne, had also a 
"water theatre" near Hyde Park Corner, con- 
spicuous from its being surmounted by a large 
weathercock ; and here, we are told, the town was 
accustomed to crowd of an evening to witness his 
hydraulic experiments. Steele mentions him in 
one of his papers in the Tatler, and Evelyn has 
thought the projector worthy of praise. 

One would be glad, but the wish is a vain one, 
to ascertain the exact spot, "by Hyde Park 
Corner," which was the scene of the schoolboy 
days of Pope, where the poet forgot the " little " 
which he had learnt from his Roman Catholic pre- 
ceptor, Bannister ; from whence he used to stroll 
to the playhouse, to delight himself with theat- 
rical exhibitions; and where the youthful bard 
composed his juvenile play from " Ogildby's Iliad," 
in which his schoolfellows were the principal 
performers, and his master's gardener was the 
per senator of Ajax. 


Since we are unable to point out the exact spot 
where the great poet " lisped in numbers," it is 
but small consolation to be able to fix the resi- 
dence of one whose follies have been immortalised 
by his verse. This was Theophilus, first Lord 
Lanesborough : 

" Sober Lanesborough dancing with the gout." 

His country residence was on the site of the 
present St. George's Hospital, and originally 
formed the centre of the old hospital, to which 
two wings were afterward added on its being 
adapted to charitable purposes. So paramount is 
said to have been Lord Lanesborough' s passion 
for dancing, that, when Queen Anne lost her con- 
sort, Prince George of Denmark, he seriously 
advised her to dispel her grief by applying herself 
to his favourite exercise. He died here on the 
nth of March, 1723. 

Apsley House, which stands on the site of the 
old Ranger's Lodge, was built by Lord Chancellor 
Apsley, afterward second Earl of Bathurst, about 
the year 1770. Almost adjoining, and to the east 
of Apsley House, formerly stood a noted inn, the 
"Pillars of Hercules," which will always be 
memorable as the place where Squire Western 
took up his abode, when he came to London in 
search of Sophia, and was bursting with ven- 
geance against Tom Jones. About the middle 
of the last century, the "Pillars of Hercules" 


was a fashionable dining place, especially for mili- 
tary men. It was also much frequented by 
country gentlemen from the West of England, 
which was probably the reason that Fielding made 
Squire Western take up his quarters there. 

The space between the " Pillars of Hercules " 
and Hamilton Place was formerly occupied by a 
row of mean houses, one of which was a public- 
house called the "Triumphant Chariot." This 
was, in all probability, the "petty tavern" to 
which the unfortunate Richard Savage was con- 
ducted by Sir Richard Steele, on the well-known 
occasion of their being closeted together for a 
whole day composing a hurried pamphlet, which 
they were compelled to sell for two guineas before 
they could pay for their dinner. Piccadilly Ter- 
race now stands on the site of the row of houses, 
we have referred to. At No. 13, Lord Byron 
resided shortly after his marriage : here occurred 
his memorable separation from Lady Byron ; and 
here he seems to have composed " Parisina," and 
"The Siege of Corinth." 

According to the authority of almost every per- 
son who has written on the subject of the streets 
of London, and I am sorry to disturb an opin- 
ion so long received, Piccadilly derives its name 
from Peccadilla Hall, a repository for the sale of 
the fashionable ruffs for the neck, entitled picca- 
dillies or turnovers, which were introduced in the 
reign of James the First. Barnabe Rice, in his 


"Honestie of the Age," speaks of the "body- 
makers that do swarm through all parts, both of 
London and about London." "The body," he 
says, " is still pampered up in the very dropsy of 
excess. He that some forty years since should have 
asked after Piccadilly, I wonder who would have 
understood him ; or who could have told what a 
Piccadilly had been, either fish or flesh." In Ben 
Jonson's " Devil is an Ass ; " in Beaumont and 
Fletcher's " Pilgrim ; " and in Dray ton's satirical 
poem, "The Moon Calf," will be found more than 
" one allusion to the fashionable ' pickadel,' or 
pickadilly." It must be remarked, however, that 
the earliest of these productions (and they have 
all evidently reference to a ridiculous and ephem- 
eral fashion of recent introduction) dates no 
further back than 1616; and, moreover, accord- 
ing to every evidence which I have been able to 
collect on the subject, the introduction of the 
"Piccadilly" was at least not of an earlier period 
than 1614. When we are able, therefore, to 
prove that the word "Pickadilla" was in common 
use as far back as 1596 (our authority is Gerard's 
" Herbal," where the " small wild buglosse," or ox- 
tongue, is spoken of as growing upon the banks of 
the dry ditches "about Pickadilla"), we are com- 
pelled to disturb the old opinion that the present 
street derives its name from a fashionable article 
of dress which we find was not introduced till 
nearly twenty years after "Pickadilla" had be- 


come a familiar name, and which, moreover, was 
little likely to be sold in so rural a district as Picca- 
dilly was in the days of James the First. 

Let us be allowed to throw out one suggestion 
on the subject. Pickadilla House, which stood 
nearly on the site of the present Panton Square, 
was a fashionable place of amusement, apparently 
as far back as the reign of Elizabeth, and contin- 
ued to be so nearly till the time of the Common- 
wealth. 1 It has been the custom of all countries 
to confer an alluring name on places of amuse- 
ment, as, for instance, we find the fashionable 
" Folly " floating on the Thames in the days of 
Charles the Second, and I cannot, therefore, 
but think that Pickadilla House derived its name 
simply from the Spanish word peccadillo, literally 
meaning a venial fault, but which was intended, 
perhaps, to imply more than met the eye. Under 
all circumstances, it seems far more reasonable to 
suppose that the newly invented ruff should have 
derived its name from being worn by the fair 
ladies and silken gallants who frequented Picka- 
dilla House, than that a trifling article of dress 
should have given a name, first to the suburban 
emporium in which it is asserted to have been 
sold, and afterward to one of the principal streets 
in Europe. Why, indeed, should a ruff have been 
called a pickadilla, unless from some such reason 

1 In Faithorne's " Plan of London," published in 1658, we find 
the spot still laid down as Pickadilly Hall. 


as we have mentioned? Or what lady is there 
who ever went into the fields to buy her attire? 
And, in the days of Elizabeth and James the First, 
Pickadilla House stood literally in the fields. The 
fact, however, that " Pickadilla " was a well-known 
spot, nearly twenty years before the introduction 
of the "pickadel," or " turnover," at least puts one 
part of the argument at rest. We have already 
employed more time on the subject than perhaps 
it deserves, and must leave the vexata questio to 
be decided by some more ingenious antiquary. 

In the reign of Queen Elizabeth, as appears by 
Aggas's "Plan of London," published in 1560, 
the present line of Piccadilly, extending from the 
Haymarket to Hyde Park Corner, was a mere 
road, which ran through an open country, and 
was called "the Roade to Readinge." Piccadilly 
appears to have been formed into a street about 
the year 1642. It extended then no farther than 
the end of the present Swallow Street, and when 
afterward, in the reign of Charles the Second, it 
was continued in the direction of Hyde Park 
Corner, the new street, in compliment to Cath- 
erine of Braganza, obtained the name of Portugal 
Street. In a map of London, printed in 1707, 
Piccadilly and Portugal Street are laid down as 
two distinct streets. Two years afterward, as 
appears by the Tatler of the i8th of April, 
1 709,- the whole line of street came to be known 
by its present denomination. There is an absurd 


story, which has received the authority of Pen- 
nant, that when Richard, the third Earl of Burling- 
ton, erected the present Burlington House, he 
observed that he had placed it there " because he 
was certain that no one would build beyond him." 
So far, however, is this story from being true, 
that we have seen Piccadilly already extending 
toward Hyde Park Corner in the days of Charles 
the Second, whereas Lord Burlington was not 
even born till the reign of William the Third. 

Although Piccadilly is a street comparatively of 
modern date, there is much to interest us in a 
stroll from Hyde Park Corner to its termination, 
at the west end of Coventry Street. The houses 
numbered 138 and 139, close to the Park, which 
are now the residences of the Earls of Cadogan 
and Roseberry, were formerly one mansion, which 
was occupied by the celebrated William, Duke of 
Queensberry, familiarly known as "old Q." In 
his old age, it was his custom, in fine sunny 
weather, to seat himself in his balcony, where his 
remarkable figure was familiar to every person 
who was in the habit of passing through this 
great thoroughfare. Here (his emaciated figure 
rendered the more conspicuous from his custom 
of holding a parasol over his head) he was in the 
habit of watching every attractive female form, 
and ogling every pretty face that passed by. He 
is said, indeed, to have kept a pony and a servant 
always in readiness, in order to follow, and ascer- 


tain the residence of any fair girl whose attractions 
particularly caught his fancy. There are many 
who may call to mind the flight of steps descend- 
ing from the first floor into the street, which were 
constructed for the convenience of the duke in his 
latter days, and which have only within the last 
few years been removed. 

The first street diverging from Piccadilly of any 
particular interest is Half Moon Street, which de- 
rives its name from a public-house called the " Half 
Moon," which stood at the corner. Here died the 
charming comic actress, Mrs. Pope. After having 
performed at Drury Lane for forty years, she 
retired from the stage into private life, with an 
unblemished character and an easy fortune. She 
was supposed to bear a strong resemblance to the 
beautiful Lady Sarah Bunbury, the first, and per- 
haps the only, romantic love of George the Third. 
Many years after the beauty of both ladies had 
been on the decline, the king happened to attend 
the performances at Drury Lane when Mrs. Pope 
was acting. The recollection of his earliest love 
came back to his mind, and, in a moment of mel- 
ancholy abstraction, he is said to have observed 
to the queen, " She is like Lady Sarah still." 

In 1768 we find Boswell lodging in Half Moon 
Street, and entertaining Doctor Johnson as his 
guest. At No. I also, at the close of life, resided 
Madame D'Arblay, the celebrated authoress of 
" Evelina," and " Cecilia." 


Passing on, we come to Clarges Street, so called 
from its being the site of Clarges House, the resi- 
dence of Sir Thomas Clarges, brother-in-law of 
the celebrated George Monk, Duke of Albemarle. 
In this street lived at one period the great admi- 
ral, Earl St. Vincent, and here, on the igth of 
February, 1806, died, in extreme old age, the well- 
known Mrs. Elizabeth Carter. At the northwest 
corner of Bolton Street, now occupied by Lord 
Ashburton, stood old Bath House, formerly the 
residence of William Pulteney, Earl of Bath, the 
formidable antagonist of Sir Robert Walpole ; and 
from the house No. 80 Piccadilly, now occupied 
by the Duke of St. Albans, Sir Francis Burdett 
was taken to the Tower in 1810. 

" The lady she sat and she played on the lute, 

And she sung, ' Will you come to the bower ? * 
The sergeant-at-arms had stood hitherto mute, 
And now he advanced, like an impudent brute, 
And said, ' Will you come to the Tower ? ' " 

I am glad to be able to point out the London 
residence of the great poet Pope. He lived at 
No. 9 Berkeley Street, leading from Piccadilly 
into Berkeley Square, close to his friend, Lord 
Burlington ; and it was here, possibly, on the eve 
of his departure to his quiet retreat at Twicken- 
ham, that he composed his " Farewell to London," 
in 1715. 

" Luxurious lobster-nights, farewell, 
For sober studious days, 


And Burlington's delicious meal, 
For salads, tarts, and peas." 

I am assured that in the lease of the house, the 
name of " Mr. Alexander Pope " occurs as a former 
occupant. From the poet it passed into the hands 
of General Bulkeley, who died about the year 1815, 
at an extreme old age. The present occupant in- 
forms me that he well remembers that whenever 
the general visited his family it was invariably his 
habit to observe, with an air of respectful interest, 
" This is the house Mr. Alexander Pope lived in ! " 

It was to his house in Berkeley Street that Mr. 
Chaworth was carried after he received his death- 
wound in his famous duel with Lord Byron in 
Pall Mall. 

In the days of Charles the Second, when Picca- 
dilly was almost open country, the space between 
Clarges Street and the Albany was occupied by 
three large villas, each surrounded by spacious 
pleasure-grounds, built respectively by Lord Berke- 
ley of Stratton, the great Lord Clarendon, and the 
well-known and wealthy poet, Sir John Denham. 
Opposite, on the site of Arlington Street, stood 
Goring House, the residence of the notorious 
statesman, Henry Bennet, Earl of Arlington. 

We will first speak of Berkeley House, which 
stood nearly on the site of the present Devonshire 
House. It was built by Lord Berkeley of Strat- 
ton, about the year 1670, on a property called 
Hay Hill Farm, from whence Hay Street, Hill 


Street, Farm Street, and Hay Hill have derived 
their names, as have Berkeley Street, Berkeley 
Square, and Stratton Street, from his lordship's 
titles. Pepys writes : " 25th September, 1672, I 
dined at Lord John Berkeley's. It was in his 
new house, or rather palace, for I am assured it 
stood him in nearly ,30,000. It is very well 
built, and has many noble rooms, but they are not 
very convenient, consisting but of one corps de 
logis ; they are all rooms of state, without closets. 
The staircase is of cedar, the furniture is princely, 
the kitchen and stables are ill-placed, and the 
corridor worse, having no respect to the wings 
they join to. For the rest, the fore-court is noble, 
so are the stables, and, above all, the gardens, 
which are incomparable, by reason of the inequal- 
ity of the ground, and a pretty piscina. The 
holly hedges on the terrace I advised the plant- 
ing of." 

Evelyn also speaks with enthusiasm of the 
"noble gardens" and "stately porticos" of 
Berkeley House. The former must have been 
of great size, when we remember that they ex- 
tended over the ground now occupied by Lans- 
downe House and Berkeley Square. In 1684, a 
part of them were let out for the purpose of being 
built upon. Evelyn mentions his deep regret at 
witnessing the work of partitioning, and the sacri- 
lege offered to the " sweet place ; " while at the 
same time he inveighs against the "mad intern- 


perance of the age," in increasing the city, which 
he says is far out of proportion to the nation, and 
which in his time had been enlarged nearly ten- 
fold. What would Evelyn say to London as it 
now stands ! 

In 1695, when on bad terms with her brother- 
in-law, King William, Queen Anne, then Princess 
of Denmark, took up her abode at Berkeley House. 
A few years afterward, the original mansion was 
burnt down, and, early in the last century, the 
present unsightly structure was erected after 
a design by Kent by William, third Duke of 
Devonshire. Beyond the fact of its having been 
tenanted by more than one titled " transmitter of 
a foolish face," we know of no particular interest 
that attaches itself to the present structure. Let 
us except, however, the brief period when the 
beautiful Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire, held 
her court within its walls, and when Fox, Burke, 
Wyndham, Fitzpatrick, and Sheridan did homage 
at her feet. It would be difficult, at the present 
day, to convey even the slightest notion of the sen- 
sation which the lovely and charming duchess 
herself a poetess and a wit created in the last 
age, or of the influence which she exercised over 
the fashion and politics of her time. Distinguished 
by her high rank, her surpassing loveliness, and the 
peculiar fascination of her manners, surrounding 
herself with the gay, the beautiful, the witty, and 
the wise, Devonshire House, under the auspices 


of this charming woman, displayed a scene of almost 
romantic brilliancy to which the court of our own 
day can present no parallel. Berkeley House, 
it may be remarked, was the residence of the 
Cavendish family, at least as early as the reign 
of Charles the Second. We find the venerable 
Christiana, widow of William, the second earl, 
to whom she had been given away at the altar 
by James the First, maintaining a splendid and 
hospitable establishment here in 1 674, when Waller 
and Denham were her guests. In 1697, we find 
William the Third dining with William, the first 
duke, and here both the first and second dukes, 
and the "beautiful duchess," breathed their last. 

The gardens of Clarendon House appear to have 
adjoined those of Berkeley House, and to have ex- 
tended to the east as far as the present Burlington 
Arcade. Clarendon House, the delight and pride 
of the great Earl of Clarendon, is said, by Burnet, 
to have cost him .50,000, a vast sum, if we con- 
sider the relative value of money in the days of 
Charles the Second's time, and at the present 
time. His enemies called it Dunkirk House, as- 
serting that it had been built with a sum which 
he had received as a bribe from the French gov- 
ernment for permitting the sale of Dunkirk. Eve- 
lyn writes, on the i$th of October, 1664: "After 
dinner, my lord chancellor and his lady carried 
me in their coach to see their new palace, now 
building at the upper end of St. James's Street, 


and to project the garden." Pepys also writes, on 
the 3 ist of January, 1665-6: "To my lord chan- 
cellor's new house, which he is building, only to 
view it, hearing so much from Mr. Evelyn of it ; 
and indeed it is the finest pile I ever did see in 
my life, and will be a glorious house." Evelyn 
speaks of Clarendon House as possessing many 
architectural defects, but he adds that, on the 
whole, it stood most gracefully, and was a stately 
and magnificent pile. 

In Evelyn's diary for the 2/th of August, 1667, 
a few days after the disgrace of the great chan- 
cellor, we find an interesting passage connected 
with Clarendon House. " I visited the lord chan- 
cellor," says Evelyn, "to whom his Majesty had 
sent for the seals a few days before ; I found him 
in his bedchamber, very sad. The Parliament had 
accused him, and he had enemies at court, espe- 
cially the buffoons and ladies of pleasure, because 
he thwarted some of them and stood in their way. 
I could name some of the chief. The truth is, he 
made few friends during his grandeur among the 
royal sufferers, but advanced the old rebels. He 
was, however, though no considerable lawyer, one 
who kept up the form and substance of things 
with more solemnity than some would have had." 
Again Evelyn adds, on the gih of December : " To 
visit the late lord chancellor I found him in his 
garden at his new-built palace, sitting in his gout 
wheel-chair, and seeing the gate setting up toward 


the north and the fields. He looked and spake 
very disconsolately. Next morning I heard he 
was gone." 

The chancellor died in exile, and shortly after- 
ward Clarendon House was sold by his successor 
to Christopher Monk, second Duke of Albemarle, 
for ,25,000. The duke appears to have resided 
here for some time, but afterward parted with it 
for about 35,000, when it was immediately lev- 
elled to the ground, and the present Dover Street, 
Albemarle Street, Old Bond Street, and Grafton 
Street were erected on the site of its beautiful 
gardens. Evelyn witnessed with great pain "the 
sad demolition of that costly and sumptuous palace 
of the late lord chancellor, where he had often 
been so cheerful with him, and sometimes so sad." 
And on the iQth of June, 1683, he writes: "I 
returned to town with the Earl of Clarendon ; 
when passing by the glorious palace his father 
built but a few years before, which they were now 
demolishing, being sold to certain undertakers, I 
turned my head the contrary way till the coach 
was gone past it, lest I might minister occasion 
of speaking of it, which must needs have grieved 
him, that in so short a time their pomp was fallen." 
Close to Berkeley Street is an archway (leading 
to the " Three Kings " public-house and livery 
stables), on each side of which is a Corinthian 
pillar, which, according to Mr. D' Israeli, are the 
last remains existing of Clarendon House. 


Burlington House stands on the site of a house 
built by the celebrated poet, Sir John Denham, in 
the reign of Charles the Second. The present 
mansion was erected by Richard Boyle, third Earl 
of Burlington, who was the architect of his own 
house, as he also was of the Duke of Devonshire's 
palladian villa at Chiswick, and, in conjunction 
with the Earl of Pembroke, of Marble Hill, near 

" Who plants like Bathurst, and who builds like Boyle ? " 

Horace Walpole says of Burlington House : 
" I had not only never seen it, but never heard of 
it, at least with any attention, when, soon after my 
return from Italy, I was invited to a ball at Bur- 
lington House. As I passed under the gate by 
night it could not strike me. At daybreak, look- 
ing out of the window to see the sun rise, I was 
surprised with the vision of the colonnade that 
fronted me. It seemed one of those edifices in 
fairy tales that are raised by genii in the night's 
time." Pope was a constant visitor at Burlington 
House, and has celebrated " Burlington's delicious 
meal " in some verses which we have already 
quoted. Gay, too, tells us that he always entered 
Burlington House with " cleaner shoes," and we 
find the great musician, Handel, a cherished guest. 
Gay says, in his " Trivia : " 

"... Burlington's fair palace still remains, 
Beauty within ; without, proportion reigns ; 


There Handel strikes the strings, the melting strain 
Transports the soul, and thrills through every vein ; 
There oft I enter but with cleaner shoes, 
For Burlington's beloved by every muse." 

In Dover Street, at the close of life, on the site 
of the "fair gardens " which he had formerly laid 
out for his illustrious friend, Lord Clarendon, lived 
the amiable and high-minded philosopher, John 
Evelyn. Here also, when the death of his royal 
mistress, Queen Anne, drove him from St. James's 
Palace, lived the witty and amiable Doctor Ar- 
buthnot, the friend of Swift, Pope, and Gay, and 
beloved by every man of genius who lived in 
the Augustan age of England. 

Albemarie Street derives its name from Christo- 
pher, second Duke of Albemarie, who succeeded 
the Earls of Clarendon in the possession of Clar- 
endon House. Till very recently the "Duke of 
Albemarie " public-house was still to be seen in 
Dover Street. Albemarie Street witnessed the 
last scenes of " Harley's closing life," that cele- 
brated statesman having breathed his last at his 
house in this street, on the 2ist of May, 1724. 

It was in Albemarie Street, at the house of Lord 
Grantham, that George the Second, when Prince of 
Wales, kept his court after his memorable quarrel 
with his father in 1717. Sir Gustavus Hume, 
groom of the bedchamber to George the First, 
writes, on the 24th of December, to the Earl of 
Marchmont : " The prince and princess, after hav- 


ing been both very ill, are now perfectly recov- 
ered ; they are still at my Lord Grantham's, in 
Albemarle Street, where they saw company last 
Sunday for the first time. I am told his High- 
ness's levee was very slender, not above three or 
four noblemen, and they such as have not appeared 
at St. James's for a long time. All such as are 
admitted to the king's court are under strict orders 
not to go at any time to the prince or princess's, 
more particularly all of us that have the honour 
to be immediately in his Majesty's service. This 
unhappy difference gives a sensible disturbance to 
all honest men, and as much pleasure to all those 
that are enemies to the family." 

Hereafter Albemarle Street will be interesting 
to the lovers of past history from its containing 
the residence of the late Mr. Murray, 

" Lintot and Tonson of his day," 

at whose hospitable table have assembled every 
person of talent of the present century, and whose 
house is especially interesting from so many liter- 
ary recollections. He informed me, I remember, 
that it was in walking up and down Albemarle 
Street that Lord Byron composed the^greater part 
of the " Corsair." 

On the site of the Albany stood the house and 
gardens of the celebrated minister, Charles Spencer, 
Earl of Sunderland, who died in 1722. The first 
and late Lord Melbourne afterward built a house 


on the spot, which he subsequently exchanged 
with the Duke of York for his mansion in White- 
hall, now the residence of Lady Dover. Having 
been deserted by his Royal Highness, a set of 
chambers were erected on the gardens, to which 
purpose also the house was converted, and they 
then received the name of the Albany Chambers, 
from the duke's second title of Duke of Albany. 
In 1814 Lord Byron was residing at No. 2, in the 
Albany, and it was during his residence here that 
" Lara " was published, and apparently composed. 
In his journal of the 28th of March he writes : 
" This night I got into my new apartments, rented 
of Lord Althorpe, on the lease of seven years. 
Spacious, and room for my books and sabres. In 
the house, too, another advantage. The last few 
days, or whole week, have been very abstemious, 
regular in exercise, and yet very unwell." And 
again he writes, on the roth of the following month :. 
" I do not know that I am happiest when alone ; 
but this I am sure of, that I never am long in the 
society even of her I love without a yearning for 
the company of my lamp, and my utterly confused 
and tumbled-over library. I have not stirred out 
of these rooms four days past, but I have sparred 
for exercise (windows open) with Jackson an hour 
daily to attenuate and keep up the ethereal part 
of me." 

Nearly opposite to the Albany is St. James's 
Church, built by Sir Christopher Wren in the 


reign of James the Second. The interior is as 
beautiful as the exterior is unseemly ; but even if 
it possessed no other object of beauty or interest, 
the exquisite marble font, the work of Grinlin 
Gibbons, would alone render it worthy of a visit. 
In this church is buried the celebrated footman 
and bookseller, dramatist and poet, Robert Dods- 
ley, and in the chancel lies the body of William, 
Duke of Queensberry, to whose eccentricities we 
have already alluded. There are few who have 
passed by the Jermyn Street entrance to St. James's 
churchyard who have not noticed a small stone in 
the wall of the tower to the memory of Tom D'Ur- 
fey, the poet, on whose shoulders Charles the 
Second used familiarly to lean, and hum gay tunes 
in concert with his favourite. The inscription is 
sufficiently brief : " Tom D'Urfey, died Feb. ye 
26th, 1723." On the west side of the parsonage- 
house may be seen a flat stone to the memory of 
the inimitable Gillray : " In memory of Mr. James 
Gillray, the caricaturist, who departed this life ist 
of June, 1815, aged 58 years." 

We have already mentioned that Piccadilly 
House stood on the site of Panton Square, at 
the east end of Piccadilly, and that it continued 
to be a fashionable place of amusement till the 
middle of the seventeenth century. Lord Claren- 
don, then Mr. Hyde, speaking of himself, observes : 
"Mr. Hyde, going to a house called Piccadilly, 
which was a fair house for entertainment and 


gaming, with handsome gravel walks, with shade, 
and where were an upper and lower bowling-green, 
whither many of the nobility and gentry of the 
best quality resorted for exercise and recreation." 
Piccadilly House is generally supposed to be the 
same place of amusement as that mentioned by 
Garrard in one of his letters to the Earl of Straf- 
ford. " Since Spring Gardens was put down," 
he writes, in June, 1635, "we have, by a servant 
of the lord chamberlain's, a new Spring Gardens 
erected in the fields beyond the Meuse, where 
is built a fair house, and two bowling-greens, 
made to entertain gamesters and bowlers, at an 
excessive rate, for I believe it hath cost him 
about ^4,000. A dear undertaking for a gentle- 
man barber. My lord chamberlain much frequents 
this place, where they bowl great matches." 

Not far from Panton Square, to the northwest, 
lies Golden Square ; originally, according to Pen- 
nant, called Gelding Square, from the sign of a 
public-house which formerly stood in the neigh- 
bourhood. This, however, is unquestionably a mis- 
take. The name was originally Golding Square, 
as appears by the " New View of London," pub- 
lished in 1707, about ten years after its erection, 
and it is there distinctly stated to derive its name 
from one Golding, who built it. This gloomy-look- 
ing square, once one of the most fashionable sites 
in the metropolis, was built, after the accession of 
William the Third, in what were then styled the 


Pest House Fields, the site of a lazaretto erected 
by Lord Craven as a receptacle for the miserable 
sufferers from the great plague of 1665. 

One would wish to be able to point out the 
house in Golden Square which was once the resi- 
dence of the celebrated Henry St. John, Lord 
Bolingbroke. Here he entertained for the last 
time at dinner his former colleague and friend, 
the no less celebrated Harley, when, among other 
guests, were present the Duke of Shrewsbury, 
Earl Powlet, and Lord Rochester, and where the 
latter, we are told, " taking pains to calm the spirit 
of division and ambition," made a vain attempt to 
effect a reconciliation between the rival politicians. 
Here, a few months afterward, we find Boling- 
broke entertaining the great Duke of Maryborough 
as his guest ; here he was residing when the death 
of Queen Anne effected so extraordinary a revolu- 
tion in his fortunes, and from hence, apparently, 
he departed by stealth, in the dress of a servant, 
on the night of his memorable escape to the 

Either in Golden Square, or in the immediate 
neighbourhood, at the house of her father, who 
was a painter, lived the beautiful singer Anastasia 
Robinson. Although a performer at the opera, a 
teacher of music, and of the Italian language, 
occupations which constantly threw her in the 
way of temptation, she refused to enrich her- 
self by any illicit connection, and for some years 


supported an aged father by her industry and her 
talents. Her beauty and her virtue captured the 
heart of the celebrated and eccentric Charles Mor- 
daunt, Earl of Peterborough, who privately married 
her toward the close of his long life. Their mar- 
riage was not acknowledged till the year 1735, but, 
as many as twelve years previous to its announce- 
ment, we find Lord Peterborough horsewhipping 
a foreign singer, Senescino, at a rehearsal, for some 
offence which he had given to his future countess. 
Of the year in which they were married we have 
no record ; indeed, it was only when broken down 
by disease, and when harassed by her repeated 
refusals to live under the same roof with him, 
unless he acknowledged her as his wife, that Lord 
Peterborough was induced to divulge his secret to 
the world. Even when he proclaimed his weak- 
ness, it was in a very characteristic manner. He 
went one evening to the rooms at Bath, where a 
servant had previously received orders to exclaim, 
in a distinct and audible voice, " Lady Peterbor- 
ough's carriage waits." Every lady of rank and 
fashion, we are told, immediately rose, and offered 
their congratulations to the new countess. Gay, 
in his "Epistle to William Pulteney," has cele- 
brated the vocal powers of the beautiful songstress : 

" O soothe me with some soft Italian air, 
Let harmony compose my tortured ear ; 
When Anastasia's voice commands the strain, 
The melting warble thrills through every vein j 


Thought stands suspended, silence pleased attends, 
While in her notes the heavenly choir descends." 

It is in this square that Smollet makes Matthew 
Bramble and his sister, with Humphrey Clinker and 
Winifred Jenkins, take up their residence. 



The Green Park Duel between the Earl of Bath and Lord 
Hervey Hyde Park in the Reigns of Henry the Eighth, 
Queen Elizabeth, Queen Anne, Cromwell, and Charles the 
Second Famous Duel between Lord Mohun and the Duke 
of Hamilton M'Lean and Belchier the Highwaymen 
Mysterious Incident to the Duke of Marlborough. 

PREVIOUS to the Restoration, the site of the 
Green Park was occupied by meadows, and it is to 
Charles the Second that the children who fly kites, 
and the nursery-maids who make love, are indebted 
for its being converted into an appanage of St. 
James's Palace. With the exception of its being 
the scene of a remarkable duel between the cele- 
brated minister, Pulteney, afterward Earl of Bath, 
and the scarcely less celebrated John, Lord Her- 
vey, I am not aware that the Green Park possesses 
any particular feature of interest. In 1730 there 
appeared in print a pamphlet, entitled "Sedition 
and Defamation Displayed," which the world in 
general attributed to Lord Hervey, and which 
contained a violent personal attack on Pulteney. 
This pamphlet was replied to by the latter, who, 
believing it to be the production of Lord Hervey, 



vomited forth an acrimonious attack on its pre- 
sumed author. Alluding to the well-known effem- 
inate appearance and habits of Lord Hervey, 
Pulteney speaks of his opponent as a thing half 
man and half woman, and dwells malignantly on 
those personal infirmities, produced by suffering 
and disease, which Pope afterward introduced with 
no less acrimony, but with increased wit, in his 
celebrated character of " Sporus." 

Immediately on the production of the offensive 
pamphlet, Lord Hervey sent to Pulteney, inquir- 
ing whether he was correct in presuming him to 
be his maligner? To this Pulteney replied that, 
whether or no he was the author of the " Reply," 
he was ready to justify and stand by the truth of 
any part of it, "at what time and wherever Lord 
Hervey pleased." "This last message," writes 
Thomas Pelham to Lord Waldegrave, "your lord- 
ship will easily imagine was the occasion of the 
duel ; and, accordingly, on Monday last, between 
three and four o'clock in the afternoon, they met 
in the Upper St. James's Park, behind Arlington 
Street, with their two seconds, who were Mr. Fox 
and Sir J. Rushout. The two combatants were 
each of them slightly wounded, but Mr. Pulteney 
had once so much the advantage of Lord Hervey 
that he would infallibly have run my lord through 
the body if his foot had not slipped, and then the 
seconds took an occasion to part them ; upon which 
Mr. Pulteney embraced Lord Hervey, and ex- 


pressed a great deal of concern at the accident 
of their quarrel, promising, at the same time, that 
he would never personally attack him again, either 
with his mouth or his pen. Lord Hervey made 
him a bow, without giving him any sort of answer, 
and, to use the common expression, thus they 
parted." It is somewhat singular that Lady Her- 
vey, the beautiful and celebrated Mary Lepel, 
should have afterward built and resided in a house 
in the Green Park immediately overlooking the 
spot where her husband had so narrow an escape 
from the sword of Lord Bath. 

In the time of Henry the Eighth, Hyde Park 
formed part of a manor belonging to the abbot 
and monks of Westminster ; and, in a survey of 
church lands, taken in the 26th year of the reign 
of that monarch, it is styled Manerium de Hyde, 
and is valued at 14. Although there is some 
reason to believe that it was formed into a park 
while still in possession of the monks of West- 
minster, we have no positive certainty of its having 
been enclosed till the reign of Edward the Sixth, 
when we have a record of George Roper having 
been appointed keeper, with a salary of sixpence 
a day ! 

Previous to the reign of Queen Anne, Hyde 
Park was of much larger extent than it is at the 
present time. In 1705, that princess curtailed it 
of thirty acres, which she added to the gardens of 
Kensington Palace, which a few years previously 


had been purchased by William the Third of the 
Earl of Nottingham ; and, in 1/30, Queen Caroline, 
the consort of George the Second, appropriated as 
many as three hundred acres more to the same 
purpose. Another and still more deplorable cur- 
tailment for it has divorced, as far as the pic- 
turesque is concerned, Hyde Park from the Green 
Park, and has deprived us of the aspect of a fine 
uninterrupted space of pleasure-ground was the 
robbery of the angular piece of ground from Hyde 
Park Corner to beyond Hamilton Place, the bound- 
ary-wall of the park anciently running where the 
houses of Park Lane, formerly called Tyburn Lane, 
now stand. The ranger's house, it may be re- 
marked, stood on the site of the present Apsley 
House, and on the site of Hamilton Place was the 
famous fortification thrown up by the citizens of 
London at the threatened approach of the royal 
army in 1642. 

It would be idle to endeavour to trace any re- 
semblance between the Hyde Park of our own 
time and the aspect which it presented as late as 
the early part of the last century. In the reign 
of Queen Elizabeth, we read of its " herbage, pan- 
nage, and browze-wood for deer," and its solitary 
" lodge and mansion in the park ; " and, at a much 
later period, we find mention made of a piece of 
waste ground called "the Moor," the "Tyburn 
meadow," and a "parcel of meadow ground en- 
closed for the deer." It was, indeed, a place of 


fashionable resort as early as the days of the Com- 
monwealth ; but, as we learn from De Grammont, 
the ground was then a mere uncultivated waste ; 
there were scattered ponds, and " browzing- 
grounds," and thick woods ; and the only resort 
of the wealthy, the idle, and the gay was the 
famous " Ring," around which there was a circu- 
lar drive, the interior being planted and adorned 
according to the taste of the period. The domain 
must then have extended nearly to the site of 
Kensington Palace, and, previous to the reign of 
George the Second, there was a string of pools, 
or ponds, from the Bayswater Gate (a name de- 
rived from "Bayard's watering") to the present 
western termination of the Serpentine River. 
These ponds were connected by Queen Caroline, 
and to her we are indebted for the present beau- 
tiful sheet of water. 

In the reign of Charles the First, we find races 
taking place in Hyde Park, and it was on one of 
these occasions that the unfortunate Charles gave 
that mortal offence to Henry Marten, the regicide, 
which, says Aubrey, afterward "raised the whole 
county of Berks against him." " Marten," says 
Aubrey, "was a great lover of pretty girls, to 
whom he was so liberal that he spent the greatest 
part of his estate. King Charles the First had 
complaint against him for his wenching : it hap- 
pened that Henry was in Hyde Park one time 
when his Majesty was there, going to see a race. 


The king espied him, and said aloud, ' Let that 

ugly rascal be gone out of the park, that w 

master, or else I will not see the sport.' So 
Henry went away patiently, but mane bat a ltd 
mente repostum: that sarcasm raised the whole 
county of Berks against him." How little could 
Charles have imagined that the " ugly rascal," 
whom he thus rebuked, should afterward sign his 
death-warrant ! 

Under the rule of the Puritans, the May meet- 
ings, the merry sports, and festive rejoicings, 
which were in the habit of taking place in Hyde 
Park, were declared to be iniquitous and abomina- 
ble. In 1652, the Parliament ordered the manor 
to be sold to the highest bidder ; and consequently 
the inhabitants of this great city had a narrow 
escape from being deprived of the advantages of 
fresh air, exercise, and beautiful scenery, which 
they have now enjoyed for nearly three centuries. 
The purchasers were Richard Wilcox, of Kensing- 
ton, Esq. ; John Tracy, of London, merchant ; and 
Anthony Deane, of St. Martin in the Fields, Esq. 
The latter appears to have become the proprietor 
of that part of the park in which, as at the present 
day, our ancestors came, either in their equipages 
or on horseback, to take the air. Evelyn writes, 
on the nth of April, 1653 : "I went to take the 
air in Hyde Park, where every coach was made to 
pay a shilling, and horse sixpence, by the sordid 
fellow who has purchased it of the state, as they 


are called." For some years after the Restoration 
the park continued to be let in farms, nor was 
it till 1670 that it was entirely surrounded by a 
wall, and restocked with deer. In the days of the 
Commonwealth, Hyde Park must have been ex- 
tremely well wooded, for we find the timber alone 
valued at ,5,099. 19^. 6d. The deer were valued 
at 765. 6s. zd. 

If it was one of the objects of the Parliament, 
in selling Hyde Park, to prevent its being the 
scene of May meetings, and similar kinds of fes- 
tivities, the result was certainly not what they 
anticipated. On the ist of May, 1654, about a 
year after it had become private property, we 
read : " This day was more observed by people 
going a-maying than for diverse }ears past, and 
indeed much sin committed by wicked meetings 
with fiddlers, drunkenness, ribaldry, and the like ; 
great resort came to Hyde Park, many hundreds 
of coaches and gallants in attire, but most shame- 
ful powdered-hair men, and painted and spotted 
women. Some men played with a silver ball, and 
some took other recreation. But his Highness, 
the Lord Protector, went not thither, nor any of 
the lords of the Commonwealth, but were busy 
about the great affairs of the Commonwealth." 
The Moderate Intelligencer, dated the same day 
as the preceding extract, gives a similar account 
of the May sports in Hyde Park ; but it is there 
distinctly stated that Cromwell was present. 


" This day there was a hurling of a great ball by 
fifty Cornish gentlemen on one side, and fifty on 
the other ; one party played in red caps, and the 
other in white. There was present his Highness 
the Lord Protector, many of his Privy Council, and 
diverse eminent gentlemen, to whose view was pre- 
sented great agility of body, and most neat and 
exquisite wrestling, at every meeting of one with 
the other, which was ordered with such dexterity 
that it was to show more the strength, vigour, and 
nimbleness of their bodies, than to endanger their 
persons. The ball they played withal was silver, 
and designed for that party which did win the 

When Cromwell, at the close of life, was suffer- 
ing under a painful disorder, his physicians recom- 
mended him to take as much exercise as possible, 
and consequently we find him frequently either 
driving or riding in Hyde Park. It was not 
unusual for him to mount his own coach-box, and 
to drive his six horses, surrounded by a regiment 
of guards. It was on one of these occasions that 
an accident occurred which nearly cost him his 
life. "The Duke of Holstein," says Ludlow, 
" made him a present of a set of gray Friesland 
coach-horses, with which, taking the air in the 
park, attended only with his secretary, Thurloe, 
and a guard of janizaries, he would needs take the 
place of the coachman, not doubting but the three 
pair of horses he was about to drive would prove 


as tame as the three nations which were ridden by 
him ; and therefore, not content with their ordi- 
nary pace, he lashed them very furiously ; but they, 
unaccustomed to such a rough driver, ran away in 
a rage, and stopped not till they had thrown him 
out of the box, with which fall his pistol fired in 
his pocket, though without any hurt to himself, 
by which he might have been instructed how dan- 
gerous it was to meddle with those things wherein 
he had no experience." Heath repeats the story 
in his " Flagellam," and also places the scene in 
Hyde Park. " The generous horses," he says, " no- 
sooner heard the lash of the whip, but away they 
ran, with Thurloe sitting trembling inside, for fear 
of his own neck, over hill and dale, and at last 
threw down the unexpert governor from the box 
into the traces." In his fall, it seems, the Pro- 
tector's legs became entangled in the harness, and 
for several seconds he remained suspended from 
the pole of the carriage. Thurloe, in great trepida- 
tion, threw himself from the door of the vehicle, 
and escaped with some slight bruises. Heath else- 
where likens Cromwell and Thurloe to Mephis- 
topheles and Doctor Faustus. "Cromwell," he 
says, "like Phaeton, fell from his chariot." Many 
pasquinades were of course written on the sub- 
ject, of one of which the following concluding 
verse is not without merit : 

" Every day and hour has shown us his power, 
And now he has shown us his art ; 


His first reproach was a fall from a coach, 
And his next will be from a cart." 

We must not omit to mention that it was at 
Hyde Park Gate (the hinges of which they filed 
off in order to secure their escape) that Synder- 
combe and Cecil more than once lay in wait, in 
hopes of finding an opportunity of assassinating 
the great Protector in one of his rides in the 

In the pages of Pepys and Evelyn we find some 
interesting notices of the gay scene presented by 
Hyde Park in the reign of Charles the Second. 
The former writes, on the 3Oth of April, 1661 : 
" I am sorry I am not at London to be at Hyde 
Park to-morrow morning among the great gallants 
and ladies, which will be very fine." Evelyn was 
more fortunate, and on the following day thus 
notices the lively scene: "May ist, I went to 
Hyde Park to take the air, where was his Majesty 
and an innumerable appearance of gallants and rich 
coaches, being now at a time of universal festivity 
and joy." The following year we find Pepys him- 
self among the gay equestrians in the park. " 1662, 
December i8th, in St. James's Park Mr. Coven- 
try's people had a horse ready for me, so fine a 
one that I was almost afraid to get upon him, but 
I did, and found myself more feared than hurt, 
and followed the duke and some of his people to 
Hyde Park." Again Pepys writes on the 8th of 
April, 1663 : "After dinner to the Hyde Park ; at 


the park was the king, and in another coach my 
Lady Castlemaine, they greeting one another at 
every turn." 

In Colley Gibber's "Apology for His Life," 
there is a passage connected with Hyde Park 
which throws a curious light on the manners of 
the time. Speaking of Kynaston, the actor, he 
says : " He was at that time so beautiful a youth, 
that the ladies of quality prided themselves in 
taking him with them in their coaches to Hyde 
Park, in his theatrical habit, after the play ; which, 
in those days, they might have sufficient time to 
do, because plays were then used to begin at four 
o'clock, the hour that people of the same rank 
are now going to dinner." 

We will conclude our notices of Hyde Park in 
the reign of Charles the Second, with an account 
of a military review, at which Evelyn was present. 
He writes in July, 1664: "I saw his Majesty's 
guards, being of horse and foot four thousand, led 
by the general the Duke of Albemarle in extraor- 
dinary equipage and gallantry, consisting of gen- 
tlemen of quality and veteran soldiers, excellently 
clad, marched, and ordered, drawn up in battalia 
before their Majesties in Hyde Park, where the 
old Earl of Cleveland trailed a pike, and led the 
right-hand file commanded by the Viscount Went- 
worth, his son, a worthy spectacle and example, 
being both of them old and valiant soldiers. This 
was to show the French ambassador, M. Com- 


minges, there being a great assembly of coaches, 
etc., in the park." The gossiping Pepys was 
present in Hyde Park on the occasion. " It was 
a goodly sight," he says, "to see so many fine 
horses and officers, and the king, duke, and others, 
come by on horseback, and the two queens in the 
queen-mother's coach ; my Lady Castlemaine not 
being there. And after long being there, I alighted, 
and walked to the place where the king, duke, etc., 
did stand, to see the horse and foot march by and 
discharge their guns, to show a French marquis, 
for whom this muster was caused, the goodness of 
our firemen, which, indeed, was very good, though 
not without a slip now and then, and one broad- 
side close to our coach, as we were going out of 
the park, even to the nearness to be ready to burn 
our hairs. Yet methought all these gay men are 
not the soldiers that must do the king's business, 
it being such as these that lost the old king all he 
had, and were beat by the most ordinary fellows 
that could be." 

In reference to the mere fashionable history of 
Hyde Park from the days of Oliver Cromwell to 
our own time, we must not forget to mention that 
the spot designated by our ancestors par excellence 
as Hyde Park the spot where Charles the Sec- 
ond exchanged amorous glances with the haughty 
Castlemaine, and where the young, the witty, the 
titled, and the beautiful greeted each other from 
their equipages or on horseback, for more than 


two centuries was confined to the famous 
" Ring," to which we have already made allu- 
sion. When we read in Evelyn of a " coach-race 
in Hyde Park," or, in Pepys, of a " fine foot-race, 
three times around the park, between an Irishman 
and Crow, that was once my Lord Claypole's foot- 
man," it was evidently " the Ring " which was the 
scene of their contests. " Hyde Park," says Pen- 
nant, " was in the last century, and the early part 
of the present, celebrated by all our dramatic poets, 
for its large space railed off in form of a circle, 
around which the beau monde drove in their car- 
riages ; and, in their rotation, exchanged, as they 
passed, smiles and nods, compliments or smart 

In passing along the banks of the Serpentine 
from Hyde Park Corner to Kensington Gardens, 
if, on reaching the receiving house of the Humane 
Society, we turn immediately to the right, and skirt 
the palings of the lodge or Farm House, it will lead 
us to the site of the celebrated " Ring," which 
was situated in the centre of the park, between 
the Farm House and Dorchester House, in Park 
Lane, though considerably nearer to the former. 
Pope writes, in his essay on " The Characters of 
Women : " 

" Ah ! friend ! to dazzle let the vain design ; 
To raise the thought, and touch the heart, be thine ! 
That charm shall grow, while what fatigues the Ring, 
Flaunts and goes down, an unregarded thing." 


And again, in the same inimitable poem : 

" Rufa, whose eye, quick-glancing o'er the park, 
Attracts each light gay meteor of a spark." 

Between the Farm House (the Cake House, or 
Mince-pie House, as it was called in the reign of 
Queen Anne) and the Ring was fought, on the 
1 5th of November, 1712, the celebrated and san- 
guinary duel between Charles, Lord Mohun, and 
James, fourth Duke of Hamilton. They had 
married two nieces of Charles Gerrard, Earl of 
Macclesfield ; and a dispute having taken place be- 
tween them respecting the disposal of the Gerrard 
estates, they chanced to meet at an examination 
before a master in Chancery, when high and 
angry words arose, and the following day Lord 
Mohun sent his friend, General Macartney, to 
the duke, challenging him to a sword duel in 
Hyde Park. It may be mentioned that, many 
years before, Lord Mohun, when in company with 
the Earl of Warwick and another friend, had been 
engaged in a midnight brawl in the streets with 
three persons, probably as intoxicated and riotous 
as himself, when swords were drawn, and one 
Captain Richard Coote was killed. Warwick and 
Mohun were tried by their peers, when the former 
was convicted of manslaughter, and the latter was 
acquitted. Some years later, having conceived a 
passion for Mrs. Bracegirdle, the celebrated ac- 
tress, who was supposed to be on the point of 


marriage with Montfort, the no less celebrated 
actor, he instigated, it is said, one Captain Rich- 
ard Hill, to assassinate Montfort as he was passing 
along the Strand ; if I remember right, at the cor- 
ner of Norfolk Street. For this second murder 
he was again tried by his peers, but had again the 
good fortune to be acquitted. 

The third catastrophe in which Lord Mohun 
was concerned was his famous duel with the Duke 
of Hamilton, but on this occasion he was destined 
to be tried by a far higher tribunal than that 
which had absolved him on the two previous occa- 
sions. At the meeting in Hyde Park, Lord 
Mohun came attended by General Macartney, and 
the Duke of Hamilton by Colonel Hamilton. On 
the ground, the duke taunting Macartney with 
being the cause of the duel, the latter expressed 
his perfect readiness to join in the conflict, to which 
the duke, pointing to Colonel Hamilton, observed : 
" There is my friend ; he will take his share in my 
dance." Both principals and seconds then drew 
their swords and engaged at the same moment. 
Lord Mohun almost immediately received a fatal 
wound, and died on the spot ; the duke also re- 
ceived his death-wound, but, according to the 
evidence of Colonel Hamilton, it was General 
Macartney who gave him the fatal stab. 

Swift writes to Stella on the day of the duel : 
"Before this comes to your hands you will have 
heard of the most terrible accident that hath 


almost ever happened. This morning at eight, 
my man brought me word that Duke Hamilton 
had fought with Lord Mohun, and killed him, and 
was brought home wounded. I immediately sent 
him to the duke's house, in St. James's Square; 
but the porter could hardly answer for tears, and 
a great rabble was about the house. In short,, 
they fought at seven this morning. The dog 
Mohun was killed on the spot ; and, while the 
duke was over him, Mohun shortened his sword, 
and stabbed him in the shoulder to the heart. 
The duke was helped toward the Cake House, by 
the Ring in Hyde Park, where they fought, and 
died on the grass, before he could reach the 
house ; and was brought home in his coach by 
eight, while the poor duchess was asleep. Mac- 
artney and one Hamilton were the seconds, who 
fought likewise, and are both fled. I am told 
that a footman of Lord Mohun' s stabbed Duke 
Hamilton, and some say Macartney did so too. 
Mohun gave the affront, and yet sent the chal- 
lenge. I am infinitely concerned for the poor 
duke, who was a frank, honest, good-natured man. 
I loved him very well, and I think he loved me 
better." A short time afterward, Colonel Hamil- 
ton, the duke's second, was tried at the Old Bailey, 
and acquitted. General Macartney surrendered 
himself to take his trial the following year, when 
Hamilton swore positively that he was the person 
who gave the duke his fatal wound. The jury, 


however, seem to have placed but little faith in his 
evidence, for Macartney was merely found guilty 
of manslaughter, and Colonel Hamilton, to avoid 
a prosecution for perjury, fled to the Continent, 
where he died within four months. General Mac- 
artney survived till 1730. 

The retired spot of ground, between the Ring 
and the Serpentine, on which the Duke of Hamil- 
ton and Lord Mohun lost their lives, is that appar- 
ently which Fielding, in his inimitable novel of 
"Amelia," mentions as the usual meeting-place 
of the duellists of the last century, and where 
probably many a life has been lost. It is here 
that Fielding fixes the encounter between his hero 
Booth and the fiery Colonel Bath. Having quar- 
relled on the fashionable Mall in St. James's Park, 
the combatants, unaccompanied by seconds, and 
with no weapons but the sword which every gen- 
tleman wore at the period, proceeded forthwith 
to the secluded spot which we have mentioned. 
" The colonel bade Booth come along, and strutted 
forward directly up Constitution Hill, to Hyde 
Park, Booth following him at first, and afterward 
walking before him, till they came to that place 
which may be properly called the field of blood, 
being that part, a little to the left of the Ring, 
which heroes have chosen for the scene of their 
exit out of this world." 

We must not omit to mention that it was in 
Hyde Park that Wilkes fought his memorable 


duel with Mr. Martin, in which he received the 
wound from a pistol-ball which so nearly cost him 
his life. 

In Swift's journal to Stella we find another 
interesting passage connected with Hyde Park. 
On the 25th of February, 1712, he writes: "I 
was this morning again with the secretary [Lord 
Bolingbroke] and we were two hours busy ; and 
then went to the Park, Hyde Park I mean ; and 
he walked to cure his cold, and we were looking 
at two Arabian horses, sent some time ago to the 
lord treasurer. The Duke of Marlborough's coach 
overtook us, with his Grace and Lord Godolphin 
in it; but they did not see us, to our great satis- 
faction ; for neither of us desired that either of 
those two lords should see us together. There 
were half a dozen ladies riding like cavaliers to 
take the air." The lord treasurer, here mentioned, 
was Lord Godolphin, and it is not improbable that 
one of the two Arabian horses which Swift refers 
to was the famous Godolphin Arabian. 

Let us pass from the time of Swift and Boling- 
broke to that of Horace Walpole ; those days 
when the lonely situation of Hyde Park rendered 
it still the frequent scene of highway robbery and 
murder. Horace Walpole writes to Sir Horace 
Mann on the i/th of November, 1749: "Gib- 
berne says you will be frightened at a lamentable 
history that you will read of me in the newspapers ; 
but pray don't be frightened : the danger, great as 


it was, was over before I had any notion of it ; and 
the hurt did not deserve mentioning." Walpole, 
it seems, was passing through Hyde Park, when 
he was stopped by one M'Lean, a highwayman of 
formidable reputation, whose pistol, accidentally 
going off, not only stunned him, but grazed the 
skin from his cheek-bone. 

In a letter to Sir Horace Mann, dated the 2d 
of August, 1750, Walpole thus relates the cap- 
ture of the dreaded M'Lean : " I have been in 
town for a day or two, and heard no conversation 
but about M'Lean, a fashionable highwayman, who 
is just taken, and who robbed me among others. 
He was taken by selling a laced waistcoat to a 
pawnbroker, who happened to carry it to the very 
man who had just sold the lace. His history is 
very particular, for he confesses everything, and 
is so little of a hero that he cries. His father was 
an Irish dean ; his brother is a Calvinist minister, 
in great esteem at The Hague. He himself was a 
grocer, but losing a wife that he loved extremely, 
about two years ago, and by whom he has one 
little girl, he quitted his business with two hundred 
pounds in his pocket, which he soon spent, and 
then took to the road with only one compan- 
ion, Plunket, a journeyman apothecary, my other 
friend, whom he has impeached, but who is not 
taken. M'Lean had a lodging in St. James's 
Street, over against White's, and another at Chel- 
sea ; Plunket one in Jermyn Street ; and their 


faces are as known about St. James's as any 
gentleman's who lives in that quarter, and who, 
perhaps, goes upon the road too. M'Lean had a 
quarrel at Putney bowling-green, two months ago, 
with an officer, whom he challenged for disputing 
his rank; but the captain declined till M'Lean 
should produce a certificate of his nobility, which 
he has just received. There was a wardrobe of 
clothes, and three and twenty purses found at 
his lodgings, besides a famous kept mistress. As 
I conclude he will suffer, and wish him no ill, I 
don't care to have his idea, and am almost single 
in not having been to see him. Lord Mountford, 
at the head of half White's, went the first day ; his 
aunt was crying over him ; as soon as they 
were withdrawn, she said to him, knowing they 
were of White's, ' My dear, what did the lords 
say to you? Have you ever been concerned 
with any of them ? ' Was not it admirable ! 
What a favourable idea people must have of 
White's ! " 

M'Lean was hanged in October following. Wai- 
pole writes to Sir Horace Mann on the 1 8th : 
" Robbing is the only thing that goes on with any 
vivacity, though my friend Mr. M'Lean is hanged. 
The first Sunday after his condemnation, three 
thousand people went to see him ; he fainted away 
twice with the heat of his cell. You can't con- 
ceive the ridiculous rage there is of going to New- 
gate ; and the prints that are published of the 


malefactors, and the memoirs of their lives and 
death set forth with as much parade as Marshal 

M'Lean, as we have already mentioned, was 
hanged in October, 1750, and, a little more than 
a year afterward, we find his place occupied by 
one William Belchier, another fashionable high- 
wayman, who robbed in Hyde Park and its lonely 
vicinity. The evidence given at Belchier's trial, 
by one William Norton, a thief catcher, is not a 
little curious. "The chaise to the Devizes," he 
says, " having been robbed two or three times, as 
I was informed, I was desired to go in it, to see 
if I could take the thief, which I did on the 3d of 
June, about half an hour after one in the morning. 
I got into the post-chaise ; the post-boy told me 
the place where he had been stopped was near the 
half-way house between Knightsbridge and Ken- 
sington. As we came near the house the prisoner 
came to us on foot and said, * Driver, stop ! ' He 
held a pistol tinder-box to the chaise and said, 
' Your money directly ; you must not stay ; this 
minute your money.' I said, * Don't frighten us ; 
I have but a trifle ; you shall have it ! ' Then I 
said to the gentlemen (there were three in the 
chaise), ' Give your money.' I took out a pistol 
from my coat pocket, and from my breeches 
pocket a five-shilling piece and a dollar. I held 
the pistol concealed in one hand, and the money 
in the other. I held the money pretty hard. He 


said, * Put it in my hat.' I let him take the five- 
shilling piece out of my hand. As soon as he had 
taken it I snapped my pistol at him ; it did not go 
off. He staggered back, and held up his hands, 
and said, ' Oh, Lord ! oh, Lord ! ' I jumped out 
of the chaise ; he ran away, and I after him about 
six or seven hundred yards, and then took him. I 
hit him a blow on his back ; he begged for mercy 
on his knees. I took his neckcloth off, and tied 
his hands with it, and brought him back to the 
chaise. Then I told the gentlemen in the chaise 
that was the errand I came upon, and wished 
them a good journey, and brought the prisoner to 
London." When Norton was asked in court by 
the prisoner what trade he followed, " I keep a 
shop," he said, "in Wych Street, and sometimes I 
take a thief." 

Before we conclude our notices of Hyde Park, 
we must not omit to mention a mysterious incident 
which created an extraordinary sensation at the 
period. The hero of the tale was Charles, second 
Duke of Marlborough, who commanded the bri- 
gade of Foot Guards at the battle of Dettingen, 
and who held, at different periods, the high ap- 
pointments of lord steward of the king's house- 
hold, keeper of the privy seal, and master-general 
of the ordnance. In 1758, when the English 
government determined on making a descent at 
St. Malo, the Duke of Marlborough was appointed 
to the command of the expedition. A few months 


before his departure, the following extraordinary 
letter was thrust under the doorway of the 
ordnance office, and, being addressed to the 
duke, was delivered to him by one of the mes- 
sengers : 

" To His Grace the Duke of Marlborough, with care 
and speed. 

" MY LORD : As ceremony is an idle thing 
upon most occasions, more especially to persons in 
my state of mind, I shall proceed immediately to 
acquaint you with the motive and end of address- 
ing this epistle to you, which is equally interesting 
to us both. You are to know, then, that my 
present situation in life is such that I should 
prefer annihilation to a continuance in it ; des- 
perate diseases require desperate remedies, and 
you are the man I have pitched upon, either to 
make me, or unmake yourself. As I had never the 
honour to live among the great, the tenor of my 
proposals will not be very courtly, but let that be 
an argument to enforce the belief of what I am 
now going to write. It has employed my inven- 
tion for some time to find out a method to destroy 
another, without exposing my own life ; that I have 
accomplished, and defy the law now for the appli- 
cation of it. I am desperate, and must be pro- 
vided for ; you have it in your power, it is my 
business to make it your inclination to serve me ; 


which you must determine to comply with by pro- 
curing me a genteel support, for my life, or your 
own will be at a period before this session of 
Parliament is over. I have more motives than 
one for singling you out first upon this occasion ; 
and I give you this fair warning, because the 
means I shall make use of are too fatal to be 
eluded by the power of physic. If you think this 
of any consequence you will not fail to meet me, 
on Sunday next, at ten in the morning, or on 
Monday (if the weather should be rainy on Sun- 
day), near the first tree beyond the stile in Hyde 
Park, in the foot-walk to Kensington. Secrecy 
and compliance may preserve you from a double 
danger of this sort, as there is a certain part of 
the world, where your death has been more than 
wished for, upon other motives. I know the world 
too well to trust this secret in any breast but my 
own ; a few days determine me your friend or 
enemy. FELTON. 

" You will apprehend that I mean you should be 
alone, and depend upon it that a discovery of any 
artifice in this affair will be fatal to you; my 
safety is ensured by my silence, for confession 
only can condemn me." 

On the Sunday morning, having armed himself 
with a pair of loaded pistols, the duke proceeded 
on horseback to the spot in Hyde Park, which was 


pointed out by his mysterious correspondent ; hav- 
ing previously taken the precaution of securing 
the services of a friend, who lay concealed within 
a short distance. The spot was in those days a 
retired one, and on reaching it the duke, perceiv- 
ing a person loitering about, rode up to him, and 
inquired if he had any communication to make to 
him. The stranger answered in the negative, on 
which the duke inquired whether he knew who 
he was. The man answering "no," "I am the 
Duke of Maryborough," said the duke, " and I 
again ask you if you have any business with me ? " 
The mysterious stranger again answering in the 
negative, the duke turned his horse's bridle and 
rode away. 

It may be readily imagined that the curiosity, 
if not the fears of the duke, was excited by this 
strange adventure, and the receipt of a second 
threatening epistle, a day or two afterward, could 
scarcely have tended to allay either. 

" To His Grace the Duke of Marlborough. 

" MY LORD : You receive this as an acknowl- 
edgment of your punctuality as to the time and place 
of meeting on Sunday last, though it was owing to 
you that it answered no purpose ; the pageantry 
of being armed and the ensign of your order were 
useless, and too conspicuous. You needed no 
attendant, the place was not calculated for mis- 


chief, nor was any intended. If you walk in the 
west aisle of Westminster Abbey toward eleven 
o'clock on Sunday next, your sagacity will point 
out the person, whom you will address, by asking 
his company to take a turn or two with you. 
You will not fail, on inquiry, to be acquainted with 
the name and place of abode, according to which 
directions you will please to send two or three 
hundred pound bank-notes the next day by the 
penny-post. Exert not your curiosity too early ; 
it is in your power to make me grateful on certain 
terms ; I have friends who are faithful, but they 
do not bark before they bite. 

" I am, etc., F ." 

The duke, at the appointed hour, did not fail to 
make his appearance in the west aisle of West- 
minster Abbey ; when, to his surprise, he encoun- 
tered the same mysterious person whom he had 
previously met in the park. The duke immedi- 
ately approached him, and again inquired if he had 
any communication to make to him ; but the 
man replied, as on the former occasion, in the 

Shortly afterward he received a third letter : 

" To His Grace the Duke of Marlborough. 

" MY LORD : I am fully convinced you had 
a companion on Sunday. I interpret it as owing 


to the weakness of human nature, but such pro- 
ceeding is far from being ingenuous, and may 
produce bad effects, while it is impossible to- 
answer the end proposed. You will see me again 
soon, as it were by accident, and may easily find 
where I go to, in consequence of which, by being 
sent to, I shall wait on your Grace, but expect to 
be quite alone, and to converse in whispers. You 
will likewise give your honour upon meeting, that 
no part of the conversation shall transpire. These 
and the former terms complied with, ensure your 
safety ; my revenge, in case of not compliance, or 
any scheme to expose me, will be slower, but not 
less sure, and strong suspicion the utmost that 
can possibly ensue upon it, while the chances 
would be tenfold against you. You will possibly 
be in doubt after the meeting, but it is quite nec- 
essary the outside should be a mask to the in. 
The family of the ' Bloods ' is not extinct, though 
they are not in my scheme." 

About two months afterward the duke received 
a fourth letter : 

" MAY IT PLEASE YOUR GRACE : I have reason 
to believe that the son of one Barnard, a surveyor, 
in Abingdon Buildings, Westminster, is acquainted 
with some secrets that nearly concern your safety. 
His father is now out of town, which will give you 
an opportunity of questioning him more privately ;. 


it would be useless to your Grace, as well as dan- 
gerous to me, to appear more publicly in this 
affair. Your sincere friend, 


"He frequently goes to Storey's Gate Coffee- 

On the receipt of this letter, the duke despatched 
a person, in whom he could confide, to the coffee- 
house at Storey's Gate, who, having easily ob- 
tained an interview with Barnard, persuaded him 
to accompany him to Marlborough House. The 
duke immediately recognised him as the person 
whom he had encountered both in Hyde Park and 
in Westminster Abbey. Barnard, however, posi- 
tively denied having been the author of the three 
threatening letters ; and as to the fourth, he said 
the writer must be out of his senses. The duke 
then told him that as he himself was principally 
concerned in the transaction, it was his duty to 
assist in discovering the writer. To this Barnard 
only answered with a smile, and, with the duke's 
permission, took his leave. 

Immediately after his departure Barnard was 
arrested by a warrant from Sir John Fielding, the 
celebrated justice of the peace for Westminster, 
who, we are told, proceeded "at twelve at night 
to the New Prison to search his pockets." Bar- 
nard delivered up his keys and pocketbook with 


great readiness ; and, in the search which was 
made over his house and premises, nothing what- 
ever was found to implicate him in the recent 
unaccountable transaction. 

In due time he was brought to trial at the Old 
Bailey. The letters addressed to the Duke of 
Marlborough were produced in court, but they 
were proved to bear not the slightest resemblance 
to the handwriting of the accused. It was shown, 
moreover, that he was a person in affluent circum- 
stances ; that he could have no object whatever in 
extorting money ; and that he was a gentleman of 
unspotted character, and eminent in his profes- 
sion of a surveyor. The duke's evidence might 
have been supposed to have proved fatal to him ; 
but, even on this point, evidence was brought 
forward that he had occasion to be in Hyde Park 
on the morning on which he was encountered by 
the duke ; and that his being in the abbey, on 
the occasion of the second singular rencontre, 
was purely accidental. It was further proved 
that Barnard had mentioned these interviews 
with the duke to several persons, as singular 
incidents for which he could in no manner ac- 

The whole affair at the time appears to have 
been generally regarded as a "detestable plot." 
We are rather inclined, however, to believe that 
it was a clever practical joke, played by Mr. Bar- 
nard and his friends, one of whom seems to have 


proved a traitor in the camp, and to have parried 
back the jest on the principal accomplice, without 
imagining, perhaps, that it would lead to a serious 
trial at the Old Bailey. 



Mayfair Mayfair Chapel Singular Marriages Curzon 
Street South Audley Street Grosvenor Square Port- 
man Square Cavendish Square Hanover Square Bond 
Street Berkeley Square. 

MAYFAIR, the site of which was anciently 
known as Brook Fields, derives its name, it is 
almost needless to remark, from the celebrated 
fair which was held in its green meadows from 
the reign of Henry the Eighth till the middle 
of the last century. " Mayfair," says Pennant, 
" was kept about the spot now covered with May- 
fair Chapel, and several fine streets. The fair 
was attended with such disorders, riots, thefts, 
and even murders, that, in 1700, it was pre- 
vented by the magistrates, but revived again, and 
I remember the last celebrations. The place was 
covered with booths, temporary theatres, and 
every enticement to low pleasure." 

Malcolm, in his " Anecdotes of the Manners 
and Customs of London," quotes an advertise- 
ment which appeared in the London journals of 



the 27th of April, 1700, which affords us a 
curious picture of this memorable fair. " In 
Brookfield market-place, at the east corner of 
Hyde Park, is a fair to be kept for the space 
of sixteen days, beginning with the 1st of May; 
the first three days for live cattle and leather, 
with the same entertainments as at Bartholomew 
Fair, where there are shops to be let ready built 
for all manner of tradesmen that usually keep 
fairs, and so to continue yearly at the same 
place." As mentioned by Pennant, the disgrace- 
ful scenes of outrage, riot, and profligacy, which 
were annually to be witnessed at Mayfair, led, 
in 1700, to its temporary suppression. In the 
Tatler of the 24th of May, 1708, we find: 
"The downfall of Mayfair has sunk the price 
of this noble creature [the elephant] as well as of 
many other curiosities of nature. A tiger will 
sell almost as cheap as an ox ; and I am credibly 
informed a man may purchase a calf with three 
legs for very nearly the value of one with four. 
I hear likewise that there is great desolation 
among the ladies and gentlemen who were the 
ornaments of the town, and used to shine in 
plumes and diadems, the heroes being most of 
them pressed, and the queens beating hemp." 
Mayfair, however, was again revived. Notwith- 
standing that a part of the ground was built over 
as early as 1721, we find a donkey-race attract- 
ing great crowds to the fair in 1736, and as late 


as 1756 it is still mentioned in Maitland's "Anec- 
dotes " as being annually celebrated. 

Not the least remarkable feature connected 
with old Mayfair was the celebrated chapel, pre- 
sided over by one Keith, where any two per- 
sons might be married at a moment's notice ; the 
law, in the middle of the last century, requiring 
neither public notice, the consent of guardians, 
nor, indeed, any other formality than the mutual 
agreement of the consenting parties. Keith's lit- 
tle chapel stood within a few yards of the present 
chapel in Curzon Street ; indeed, an extract from 
one of his own remarkable advertisements points 
out the exact spot : " To prevent mistakes, the 
little new chapel in Mayfair, near Hyde Park 
Corner, is in the corner house opposite to the 
city side of the great chapel, and within ten 
yards of it. The minister and clerk live in the 
same corner house where the little chapel is ; 
and the license on a crown stamp, minister and 
clerk's fees, together with the certificate, amount 
to one guinea, as heretofore, at any hour till four 
in the afternoon. And that it may be better 
known, there is a porch at the door like a coun- 
try church porch." 

When, in consequence of the profligate manner 
in which he prostituted his sacred vocation, Keith 
was subsequently excommunicated for " contempt 
of the Holy and Mother Church," he had the 
cool impudence to retort on Bishop Gibson, the 


judge of the ecclesiastical court, whom he for- 
mally excommunicated in his chapel. The conse- 
quence was that he was committed to prison, 
where he continued for some years, leaving his 
duties to be performed by his curates, who were 
apparently his shopmen. At length, in 1744, the 
act for preventing clandestine marriages came 
into agitation, against which he had the impu- 
dence to issue a formal manifesto from his prison. 
Speaking of the hardship which he insists it would 
entail on the lower orders of society, he writes : 
" Another inconveniency which will arise from 
this act will be that the expense of being married 
will be so great that few of the lower classes of 
people can afford it ; for I have often heard a 
Fleet parson say that many have come to be 
married when they have had but half a crown in 
their pockets, and sixpence to buy a pot of beer, 
and for which they have pawned some of their 

The walls of the little chapel in Curzon Street 
might have told strange tales of love, folly, and 
romance. Among other singular marriages, it 
witnessed that of the beautiful Elizabeth Gunning 
to. James, Duke of Hamilton. Horace Walpole 
writes to Sir Horace Mann on the 2/th of Febru- 
ary, 1752 : "The event that has made most noise 
since my last, is the extempore wedding of the 
youngest of the two Gunnings, who have made 
so vehement a noise. Lord Coventry, a grave 


young lord, of the remains of the patriot breed, 
has long dangled after the eldest, virtuously with 
regard to her honour, not very honourably with 
regard to his own credit. About six weeks ago, 
Duke Hamilton, the very reverse of the earl, hot, 
debauched, extravagant, and equally damaged in 
his fortune and person, fell in love with the 
youngest at the masquerade, and determined to 
marry her in the spring. About a fortnight since, 
at an immense assembly at my Lord Chester- 
field's, made to show the house, Duke Hamilton 
made violent love at one end of the room, while 
he was playing at pharaoh at the other end ; that 
is, he saw neither the bank nor his own cards, 
which were of three hundred pounds each : he 
soon lost a thousand. I own I was so little a 
professor in love, that I thought all this parade 
looked ill for the poor girl ; and could not con- 
ceive, if he was so much engaged with his mis- 
tress as not to regard such sums, why he played 
at all. However, two nights afterward, being left 
alone with her, while her mother and sister were 
at Bedford House, he found himself so impatient 
that he sent for a parson. The doctor refused to 
perform the ceremony without license or ring; 
the duke swore he would send for the arch- 
bishop ; at last they were married with a ring of 
the bed-curtain, at half an hour after twelve 
at night, at Mayfair Chapel. The Scotch are 
enraged ; the women mad that so much beauty 


has had its effect ; and, what is more silly, my 
Lord Coventry declares that now he will marry 
the other." 

Scarcely less remarkable is a marriage which 
Horace Walpole mentions in a letter to George 
Montagu, of the 3d of September, 1/48: "Did 
you know a young fellow that was called hand- 
some Tracy ? He was walking in the park with 
some of his acquaintance, and overtook three girls ; 
one was very pretty ; they followed them, but 
the girls ran away, and the company grew tired 
of pursuing them, all but Tracy. He followed 
them to Whitehall Gate, where he gave a porter 
a crown to dog them ; the porter hunted them, he 
the porter. The girls ran all around Westminster 
and back to the Haymarket, where the porter 
came up with them. He told the pretty one she 
must go with him, and kept her talking till Tracy 
arrived quite out of breath, and exceedingly in 
love. He insisted on knowing where she lived, 
which she refused to tell him ; and after much 
disputing, went to the house of one of her com- 
panions, and Tracy with them. He there made 
her discover her family, a butterwoman in Craven 
Street, and engaged her to meet him the next 
morning in the park ; but before night he wrote 
her four love-letters, and in the last offered two 
hundred pounds a year to her, and a hundred a 
year to Signora la Madre. Griselda made a con- 
fidence to a stay maker's wife, who told her that 


the swain was certainly in love enough to marry 
her if she could determine to be virtuous and 
refuse his offers. * Ay,' says she, ' but if I should, 
and should lose him by it.' However, the measures 
of the cabinet council were decided for virtue ; 
and when she met Tracy the next morning in the 
park, she was convoyed by her sister and brother- 
in-law, and stuck close to the letter of her reputa- 
tion. She would do nothing, she would go nowhere. 
At last, as an instance of prodigious compliance, 
she told him that if he would accept such a dinner 
as a butterwoman's daughter could give him he 
should be welcome. Away they walked to Craven 
Street ; the mother borrowed some silver to buy a 
leg of mutton, and they kept the eager lover drink- 
ing till twelve at night, when, with a chosen com- 
mittee, the faithful pair waited on the minister of 
Mayfair. The doctor was in bed, and swore he 
would not get up to marry the king, but that he 
had a brother over the way who perhaps would, 
and who did. The mother borrowed a pair of 
sheets, and they consummated at her house ; and 
the next day they went to their own palace." 

The streets which occupy the site of old Mayfair 
are of too modern date to present any extraordi- 
nary features of interest. Where Hertford Street* 
originally called Garrick Street, now stands, there 
formerly stood a public-house, known as the " Dog 
and Duck," behind, or rather to the north of which 
was a large pond which was a favourite resort of 


the admirers of the ancient sport of duck hunting. 
In this street lived General John Burgoyne, as 
celebrated for his defeat at Saratoga as for his 
comedy of the " Heiress," and in the same house 
afterward resided Richard Brinsley Sheridan. In 
this street, also, Mrs. Jordan took up her residence 
when she first placed herself under the protection 
of the late king. 

At his house in Curzon Street, Mayfair, died 
George, Earl Macartney, celebrated for his em- 
bassy to China ; and in Chesterfield Street, for 
many years, resided the witty and eccentric George 
Selwyn. At a small house (No. 4) in the latter 
street lived the celebrated George Brummell. His 
establishment must have been sufficiently con- 
tracted ; but with the aid of his own fascinating 
powers of conversation, an excellent cook, and 
admirable wine, he attracted to his little dining- 
parlour in Chesterfield Street all the wit, the 
talent, and profligacy which distinguished the 
commencement of the present century. Here 
George the Fourth, when Prince of Wales, was 
often his guest. Frequently, it is said, the prince 
would pay him a morning visit in Chesterfield 
Street, to watch the progress of his friend's inimi- 
table toilet ; sometimes sending his horses away, 
and remaining to so late an hour that he was 
compelled to insist on Brumm ell's giving him a 
quiet dinner, which not uncommonly terminated 
in a midnight debauch. Chesterfield House, from 


which Chesterfield Street takes its name, was 
built by the celebrated Earl of Chesterfield in the 
reign of George the Second. The staircase (the 
only marble one, we believe, in London, except 
that at Northumberland House) was brought from 
the magnificent seat of the Duke of Chandos at 

From Curzon Street we pass into South Audley 
Street, in the chapel in which street Lord Chester- 
field and the celebrated John Wilkes lie buried ; 
and to the west runs Chapel Street, at No. 13 in 
which street Brummel removed from Chesterfield 
Street, and from which house he made his sudden 
flight to the Continent in 1816. In South Audley 
Street, the two exiled Kings of France, Louis 
the Eighteenth and Charles the Tenth, occupied 
at different periods the same house ; and close 
by, in a house overlooking Hyde Park, lived the 
infamous Egalite", Philip, Duke of Orleans. 

South Audley Street leads us into Grosvenor 
Square, which derives its name from having been 
built on the property of Sir Richard Grosvenor, 
who was cupbearer at the coronation of George 
the Second, and who died in 1732. On the site 
of this aristocratic square the rebel citizens of 
London, during the civil war, erected a strong 
line of fortifications ; the redoubt, long known as 
Oliver's Mount, being thrown up close to where 
the statue of George the First, the work of Van 
Nost, now stands. From this mound it would 


seem that Mount Street derives its name. The 
gardens in the centre of Grosvenor Square were 
laid out by the well-known landscape gardener, 

In Grosvenor Square lived Melesina Schulen- 
berg, Duchess of Kendal, the gaunt and un- 
sightly mistress of George the First, to whom she 
was supposed to have been united by a left-handed 
marriage ; and next door to her, before the erec- 
tion of Chesterfield House, lived the celebrated 
Lord Chesterfield, who had married Melesina, 
Countess of Walsingham, the reputed niece of 
the duchess, but who, there is every reason to 
believe, was her daughter by her royal lover. 

At his house in Upper Grosvenor Street died, 
in 1/65, William, Duke of Cumberland, memo- 
rable for the atrocities which he committed after 
the battle of Culloden ; and in Grosvenor Street, 
also, breathed her last, in 1730, the frail, the beau- 
tiful, and warm-hearted actress, Mrs. Oldfield. Her 
corpse having been decorated with fine Brussels 
lace, "a holland shift with a tucker and double 
ruffles of the same lace, and a pair of new kid 
gloves," was conveyed from her house in Grosvenor 
Street to the Jerusalem Chamber at Westminster, 
from whence, having lain in state during the day, 
it was carried at eleven o'clock at night to the 
abbey, Lord De la Warr, Lord Hervey, Bubb 
Doddington, and other gentlemen supporting the 


Running parallel with Upper Grosvenor Street 
is Upper Brook Street, remarkable for one of the 
most lamentable fires which occurred in London 
during the last century. Horace Walpole writes 
to Marshal Conway, on the 6th of May, 1763 : 
" I must tell you of the most dismal calamity that 
ever happened. Lady Molesworth's house in Upper 
Brook Street was burnt to the ground between 
four and five this morning. She herself, two of 
her daughters, her brother, and six servants per- 
ished. Two other of the young ladies jumped 
out of the two pair of stairs and garret windows ; 
one broke her thigh, the other (the eldest of all) 
broke hers too, and has had it cut off. The fifth 
daughter is much burnt ; the French governess 
leaped from the garret, and was dashed to pieces ; 
Doctor Molesworth and his wife, who were there 
on a visit, escaped ; the wife by jumping from the 
two pair of stairs, and saving herself by a rail, he 
by hanging by his hands till a second ladder was 
brought, after a first had proved too short. No- 
body knows how or where the fire began ; the 
catastrophe is shocking beyond what one ever 
heard, and poor Lady Molesworth, whose charac- 
ter and conduct were the most amiable in the 
world, is universally lamented." It was to the 
credit of George the Third that, immediately upon 
hearing of this dreadful calamity, he sent the sur- 
viving young ladies a handsome present ; ordered 
a house to be immediately prepared for their 


reception at his own expense ; and not only con- 
tinued to them a pension which had been enjoyed 
by their mother, but ordered it to be increased by 
two hundred pounds a year. 

Crossing Oxford Street, we soon find ourselves 
in Portman Square, which was built about the year 
1764, but of which I know little that is interest- 
ing, except that Montagu House, the large house 
which stands alone at the northwest corner, was 
once the residence of the well-known Mrs. Mon- 
tagu, the Madame du Deffand of her day. Here, 
once a year, she feasted the chimney-sweepers in 
the garden of Montagu House ; here assembled 
the wit, the rank, and the talent of the last cen- 
tury ; and here was the apartment, covered with 
feather hangings, which Cowper has rendered so 
celebrated : 

" The birds put off their every hue, 
To dress a room for Montagu ; 
The peacock sends his heavenly dyes, 
His rainbows and his starry eyes ; 
The pheasant plumes, which round infold 
His mantling neck with downy gold ; 
The cock his arched tail's azure show, 
And river-blanched, the swan his snow," etc. 

Seymour Street and Wigmore Street lead us 
into Cavendish Square. It is curious to find how, 
almost entirely, the streets in this vicinity have 
derived their names from the Harleys, Earls of 
Oxford, and from the different families with which 

[Montagw House. 

Photo-etching from an old engraving in Stow's Survey. 

MAYFA1R. 89 

they have intermarried. From the earldom of 
Mortimer and the barony of Harley of Wigmore, 
we trace the names of Mortimer Street, Harley 
Street, and Wigmore Street ; from the marriage 
of Edward, second Earl of Oxford and Mortimer, 
with Henrietta Cavendish, daughter and heiress of 
John Holies, Duke of Newcastle, we derive Ed- 
ward Street, Henrietta Street, Cavendish Square, 
and Holies Street ; from the union of their only 
child, Margaret, to William Bentinck, second Duke 
of Portland, we trace Margaret Street, Bentinck 
Street, Duke and Duchess Street, and Portland 
Place ; and, lastly, we derive Bulstrode Street from 
the family seat of the Dukes of Portland, and 
Welbeck Street from an estate formerly in the 
possession of the Dukes of Newcastle, which came 
into the possession of the Harleys by the marriage 
of the last female descendant of the former to the 
second Earl of Oxford. 

Cavendish Square was built about the year 
1718. Here Lady Mary Wortley Montagu held 
her court, composed of youth, rank, and beauty, 
before her long absence from England, and, at 
the corner house of the Square and Harley Street, 
the Princess Amelia, daughter of George the Sec- 
ond, lived and died. In the same house afterward 
lived Mr. Hope, the author of " Anastasius," and 
subsequently Mr. Watson Taylor. 

Harley Street, and other streets to the north, 
were not built till many years after the erection 


of Cavendish Square. This site was formerly 
known as Harley Fields, and, as late as 1768, we 
find thousands of persons assembling here in the 
open air to listen to the exhortations of the eminent 
preacher, Whitefield. About the same time we find 
the celebrated John Wesley preaching on "execu- 
tion days " on Kennington Common. In Harley 
Street lived Sir Philip Francis, previous to his 
removal to St. James's Square. 

The streets in the vicinity of Cavendish Square 
furnish the names of several persons of celebrity 
who formerly resided in them. In Bentinck Street 
lived Gibbon, the historian, and in Holies Street 
resided the mother of Lord Byron, and here the 
great poet was born in January, 1788. Martha 
Blount, beloved and immortalised by Pope, lived 
in Welbeck Street ; x in this street Lord George 
Gordon was residing at the time of the cele- 
brated riots which bear his name ; and here died, 
in 1769, at the age of ninety-seven, Edmund 
Hoyle, author of the famous treatise on the game 
of whist. 

Castle Street, Cavendish Square, is interesting 
from having been the residence of two men of 
genius, Doctor Johnson and Barry, the painter, 
who lived here, at different times, in the days 
of their distress. Opposite to Doctor Johnson's 
humble lodgings resided two sisters of the name 

1 Pope, in his will, speaks of her as Mrs. Martha Blount, late 
of Welbeck Street, Cavendish Square. 


of Cotterell. Sir Joshua Reynolds, then scarcely 
known to fame, was their frequent visitor, and at 
the house of the maiden ladies commenced the 
friendship between Johnson and Reynolds, which 
only terminated with their lives. "Sir Joshua," 
says Boswell, "told me a pleasant characteristical 
anecdote of Johnson about the time of their first 
acquaintance. When they were one evening to- 
gether at the Miss Cotterells', the then Duchess 
of Argyle and another lady of high rank came in. 
Johnson, thinking that the Miss Cotterells were 
too much engrossed by them, and that he and his 
friend were neglected, as low company of whom 
they were somewhat ashamed, grew angry ; and 
resolving to shock their supposed pride, by mak- 
ing their great visitors imagine that his friend and 
he were low indeed, he addressed himself in a loud 
tone to Mr. Reynolds, saying, ' How much do you 
think you and I could get in a week, if we were to 
,work as hard as we could ? ' as if they had been 
common mechanics." 

The residence of poor Barry is known to 
have been at No. 36 Castle Street. Edmund 
Burke, on one occasion, offered to dine with him 
at his humble abode, at which the artist demurred 
for a moment, but afterward added that, if the 
statesman would content himself with no other 
fare than a steak, he would promise him one of 
the hottest and best in London. "Accordingly," 
we are told, " on the day and hour named, Burke 


appeared, and was received by his host, who con- 
ducted him into the carpenter's shop, which he 
had transformed into his painting-room. Along 
the walls hung the sketches of his great paint- 
ings which now exist at the Adelphi. Old strain- 
ing-frames, sketches, a printing-press, with which 
he printed with his own hand the plates engraved 
from his pictures, formed the other chief contents 
of the place. The windows were mostly broken 
or cracked, and the tiled roof showed the sky 
through many a crevice. There were two old 
chairs and a single deal table. The fire, how- 
ever, was bright, and Barry cordial. Presently 
a pair of tongs was put in Burke's hands, with 
the remark, ' Be useful, my dear friend, and look 
to the steaks while I fetch the porter.' The 
statesman got on admirably with his task, and, 
by the time Barry returned, the steak was done 
to a turn. ' What a misfortune,' exclaimed Barry, 
as he entered, 'the wind carried away the fine 
foaming top as I crossed Titchfield Street.' The 
friends then sat down to the feast ; anecdote and 
criticism flowed freely ; the stars were propitious ; 
no cloud ruffled the painter's mind, and altogether 
Burke used to say he had never spent a happier 

Oxford House, the ancient manor-house of 
Mary-le-bone, the residence, at a later period, 
of the Harleys, Earls of Oxford, and the recepta- 
cle of the great Harleian library, before its trans- 


fer to the British Museum, stood opposite Mary- 
le-bone Church, and was in existence as late as 

Mary-le-bone is corrupted from St. Mary-on-the- 
bourne, or rather St. Mary-on-the-river ; bourne 
being the Saxon name for a river. In the days 
of Queen Elizabeth, the Crown possessed a vast 
domain in this district, of which, we believe, the 
Regent's Park is now nearly all that remains to it, 
and accordingly in that reign we find the ambas- 
sador from the Emperor of Russia, "and other 
Muscovites," riding through the city of London to 
Mary-le-bone Park, and there "hunting at their 
pleasure." The old manor-house was probably 
the ancient hunting-lodge of the royal domain. 
Having passed out of the possession of the Har- 
leys, it became, in the reign of Queen Anne, cele- 
brated for its fashionable bowling-green, and as 
the resort of well-dressed gamesters and sharpers. 
Lady Mary Wortley Montagu, alluding to Shef- 
field, Duke of Buckingham, observes : 

" Some dukes at Mary-bone bowl time away." 

Pennant also, speaking of the duke's intimacy 
with the frequenters of Mary-le-bone gardens, 
says, " His Grace always gave them a dinner at 
the conclusion of the season, and his parting toast 
was, ' May as many of us as remain unhanged next 
spring meet here again.' " Mary-le-bone gardens 


are perhaps now principally remembered as being 
the scene of one of Macheath's debauches in the 
"Beggar's Opera." At a later period they were 
converted into a place of diversion resembling the 
present Vauxhall, the amusements consisting of 
theatrical exhibitions, vocal and instrumental music, 
and terminating with fireworks. The gardens, 
which were closed to the public about 1777, stood 
on the site of the present Devonshire Place, Beau- 
mont Street, and the north end of Harley Street ; 
and close to the latter may still be seen three or 
four trees, the last mementos of the once cele- 
brated Mary-le-bone gardens. It may be men- 
tioned that in the theatre in Mary-le-bone gar- 
dens Charles Dibdin and Bannister made their 

At a tavern in High Street, Mary-le-bone, the 
celebrated Nancy Dawson, when a young girl, was 
employed in setting up skittles. She died at 
Hampstead in 1767, and was buried behind the 
Foundling Hospital. In Titchfield Street, Mary- 
le-bone, Cuthbert Shaw, the poet, " distinguished 
alike by his genius, his misfortunes, and his mis- 
conduct," died in great distress in 1771, and in 
this street, at the house of a brother artist, Joseph 
Bonomi, died the celebrated artist, James Barry, 
in 1806. 

We will conclude our notices of the vicinity of 
Cavendish Square with a tragical event which oc- 
curred at Chandos House, the London residence 


of James Brydges, Duke of Chandos, styled from 
his magnificent mode of living, the " grand duke," 
and sometimes the " princely Chandos. " Exceeding 
his customary splendour, the duke had announced 
a princely entertainment on the occasion of the 
christening of his infant heir. The king and 
queen had consented to become sponsors ; for 
weeks the magnificent preparations were the topic 
of conversation in every circle ; the long expected 
night arrived; the guests, including the royal 
family, filled the gorgeous apartments ; and, with 
all due honours, the child, in the arms of its nurse, 
was conducted to the place of honour which had 
been appointed for the ceremony of its initiation 
into the Church. Suddenly, however, the scene 
changed. Affected, it is said, by the excessive 
glare of light, the child was seized with convul- 
sions. The ceremony was stopped ; the guests 
departed to their respective homes, and before 
midnight the infant pride of the princely Chandos 
had breathed its last. The duke and duchess were 
both deeply affected by their extraordinary be- 
reavement. The former died shortly afterward, 
and the latter retired from the world, but not from 
the house which had witnessed the wreck of her 
fondest hopes, for she is said to have conceived a 
melancholy pleasure in residing there to the last. 
Hanover Square and the adjoining streets were 
built about the same time as Cavendish Square. 
In 1716 the site which they occupy was open 


country, but their names appear in the plans of 
London published in 1720. Pennant, who died 
as late as 1798, observes: "Oxford Street, from 
Prince's Street eastward as far as High Street, St. 
Giles's, was almost unbuilt on the north side. I 
remember there a deep hollow road, and full of 
sloughs ; there was here and there a ragged house, 
the lurking-place of cut-throats, insomuch that I 
never was taken that way by night, in my hackney- 
coach, to a worthy uncle's who gave me lodgings 
at his house in George Street, but I went in dread 
the whole way." At his house in Hanover Square, 
died, in 1735, the once popular poet, George Gran- f 
ville, Lord Lansdowne ; here also at one time 
lived the celebrated circumnavigator of the globe, 
George, Lord Anson ; and there, in 1792, a no less 
celebrated naval commander, George, Lord Rodney, 
breathed his last. 

In George Street, Hanover Square, Lady Mary 
Wortley Montagu passed the last months of her 
long life. We learn, from a member of her fam- 
ily, that from her long residence on the Continent 
she had imbibed foreign tastes and foreign habits, 
and consequently that the change from the gloomy 
magnificence of an Italian palace to a small, three- 
storied house in the neighbourhood of Hanover 
Square was as striking as it was disagreeable. " I 
am most handsomely lodged," she said, "for I 
have two very decent closets, and a cupboard on 
each floor." One can almost imagine her figure 


as she issued from her house in George Street ; 
such at least as it is described by Walpole in a 
letter written about six months before her death. 
" Lady Mary Wortley," he writes, " is arrived ; I 
have seen her ; I think her avarice, her dirt, and 
her vivacity are all increased. Her dress, like her 
languages, is a galimatias of several countries, the 
groundwork rags, and the embroidery nastiness. 
.She needs no cap, no handkerchief, no gown, no 
petticoat, no shoes. An old black-laced hood rep- 
resents the first ; the fur of a horseman's coat, 
which replaces the third, serves for the second ; a 
dimity petticoat is deputy, and officiates for the 
fourth ; and slippers act the part of the last." 
Such is the picture, drawn at the close of life, of 
the once witty, beautiful, and fascinating Lady 
Mary Wortley Montagu. She died in August, 
1762, of a terrible disorder, a cancer in the breast. 
Before quitting the neighbourhood of Hanover 
Square, let us cross New Bond Street into Wood- 
stock Street, which will always be interesting to 
the lovers of literary history, as the street where 
Doctor Johnson first fixed himself with his 
"Tetty," after his arrival in London in search 
of fortune and fame. " He now [1737] removed," 
says Boswell, " to London with Mrs. Johnson. 
His lodgings were for some time in Woodstock 
Street, near Hanover Square, and afterward in 
Castle Street, Cavendish Square. As there is 
something pleasingly interesting to many, in 


tracing so great a man through all his different 
habitations, I shall, before this work is concluded, 
present my readers with an exact list of his lodg- 
ings and houses, in order of time, which, in placid 
condescension to my respectful curiosity, he one 
evening dictated to me, but without specifying 
how long he lived at each." 

In Argyle Street, within a short distance of 
Hanover Square, lived the unfortunate Doctor 
Dodd, who expiated a life of vanity, hypocrisy, 
and pleasure on the gibbet. Wraxall mentions 
his having dined at his table in Argyle Street, 
when the celebrated Wilkes, Sir William Jones, 
and De Lolme, formed the remainder of the com- 
pany. " Mrs. Dodd," says Wraxall, " presided, 
and afterward received in her drawing-room a 
large party of both sexes." In that gay circle, 
who would not have laughed to scorn the idea 
that their clerical and gifted host would die by 
the hands of the common hangman ! 

Bond Street is replete with interesting literary 
associations. From hence I find Gilbert West, 
the poet, dating many of his letters to Gray ; 
here, at the house of Mrs. Miller, Fielding has 
placed many of the most pathetic scenes in his 
immortal novel of " Tom Jones ; " here it was 
that the unfortunate poet, Richard Savage, be- 
sieged the house of his unnatural mother, the 
Countess of Macclesfield ; and here Archibald 
Bower, author of the " History of the Popes," 


so remarkable for his eccentric vices and strange 
adventures, breathed his last. He died in Septem- 
ber, 1766, and was buried in Mary-le-bone church- 
yard, where there is a monument to his memory. 

In 1769 Boswell lived in lodgings in Old Bond 
Street. He mentions, on one occasion, enter- 
taining at dinner, in this street, Doctor Johnson, 
Sir Joshua Reynolds, Garrick, Goldsmith, Murphy, 
Tom Davis, the bookseller and actor, and Bicker- 
staff, the author of " Love in a Village." 

But there are literary associations still more 
interesting connected with Bond Street. It was 
here that Gibbon passed his solitary evenings, 
composing his immortal history. Every one re- 
members the memorable passage, in which the 
great historian paints his lonely situation in the 
midst of the fashionable world. " I had not been 
endowed by art or nature with those happy gifts 
of confidence and address, which unlock every 
door and every bosom ; nor would it be reasonable 
to complain of the just consequences of my sickly 
childhood, foreign education, and reserved temper. 
While coaches were rattling through Bond Street, 
I have passed many a solitary evening in my 
lodging with my books. My studies were some- 
times interrupted by a sigh, which I breathed 
toward Lausanne ; and on the approach of spring, 
I withdrew without reluctance from the noisy and 
extensive scene of crowds without company, and 
dissipation without pleasure." 


Sterne breathed his last in Bond Street. We 
are told, in the memoir of him attached to his 
works, that "he submitted to fate on the i8th 
day of March, 1768, at his lodgings in Bond 

Mr. D'Israeli observes : " It does not appear to 
have been noticed that Sterne died with neither 
friend nor relation by his side ! A hired nurse 
was the sole companion of the man whose wit 
found admirers in every street, but whose heart, 
it would seem, could not draw one to his death- 
bed. We cannot say whether Sterne, who had 
been long dying, had resolved to practise his own 
principle, when he made the philosopher Shandy, 
who had a fine saying for everything, deliver his 
opinion on death, * that there is no terror, brother 
Toby, in its looks, but what it borrows from groans 
and convulsions, and the blowing of noses, and the 
wiping away of tears with the bottoms of curtains 
in a dying man's room. Strip it of these, what is 
it ? ' I find the moment of his death described in 
a singular book, the 'Life of a Footman.' I give 
it with all its particulars : In the month of Janu- 
ary, 1768, we set off for London. We stopped 
for some time at Almack's house in Pall Mall. 
My master afterward took Sir James Gray's house 
in Clifford Street, who was going ambassador to 
Spain. He now began housekeeping, hired a 
French cook, housemaid, and kitchen-maid, and 
kept a great deal of the best company. About 

Laurence Sterne. 

Photo-etching after the painting by Sir Joshua Reynolds. 



this time, Mr. Sterne, the celebrated author, was 
taken ill at the silk-bag shop in Old Bond Street. 
He was sometimes called Tristram Shandy, and 
sometimes Yorick, a very great favourite of the 
gentlemen's. One day my master had company 
to dinner, who were speaking about him ; the 
Duke of Roxburgh, the Earl of March, the Earl 
of Ossory, the Duke of Grafton, Mr. Garrick, Mr. 
Hume, and Mr. James. "John," said my master, 
"go and inquire how Mr. Sterne is to-day." I 
went, returned, and said, " I went to Mr. Sterne's 
lodging the mistress opened the door I in- 
quired how he did. She told me to go up to the 
nurse ; I went into the room, and he was just 
a-dying. I waited ten minutes ; but in five, he 
said, * Now is it come ! ' He put up his hand, as 
if to stop a blow, and died in a minute." The 
gentlemen were all very sorry, and lamented him 
very much/ ' 

"A cheerless end, neglected Sterne, was thine ! 
Thy closing scene demands a gloomier line ; 
Thou who didst boast when youthful blood ran warm, 
That Death was dreadful only in his form ; 
A boon, if free from Love's convulsive sighs, 
From groans, and pomp, and funeral obsequies ; 
Say, through thy nights of sickness and of pain, 
Did nothing whisper thee thy boast was vain ? 
When Death upon thy lonely couch looked down, 
Was there no terror, Yorick, in his frown ? 
Short was the triumph of thy bright career, 
Who wok'st at will the laughter or the tear; 


Whose plaintive fiction, or whose comic page 
Cheered the sick-room, and soothed the cares of age ;, 
Yet ill the world that of thy wit did rave, 
Repaid thee for the pleasure which it gave : 
Lone was thy parting scene ! no friend was there, 
No loved one sobbing with dishevelled hair ; 
Of all who wooed thee to their social board, 
The wealthy coxcomb, and the empty lord, 
Not all thy genius, wit, nor fame could bring 
One friend to tend thee till thy soul took wing ; 
Thy sole companion was the hireling nurse, 
The hireling mute sole mourner o'er thy hearse ! " 


Sterne was interred in the burying-ground be- 
longing to the parish of St. George, Hanover 
Square, near Connaught Place, where a monu- 
ment, erected by two brother freemasons to his 
memory, may still be seen. 

The literary interest which attaches itself to 
Bond Street has descended even to our own time. 
In the days of his dissipation, " Stevens's " hotel, 
near Clifford Street, was the favourite resort of 
Lord Byron; and, in 1815, we find Sir Walter 
Scott residing at a neighbouring hotel, " Long's/' 
" I saw Lord Byron for the first time," says Sir 
Walter, "in 1815, after I returned from France. 
He dined, or lunched, with me at Long's, in Bond 
Street. I never saw him so full of gaiety and 
good-humour, to which the presence of Mr. Mat- 
thews, the comedian, added not a little. Poor 
Terry was also present. After one of the gayest 


parties I ever was present at, my fellow traveller 
and I set off for Scotland, and I never saw ,ord 
Byron again." 

Bond Street, it may be remarked, derives its 
name from Sir Thomas Bond, whose house, in 
Piccadilly, we find temporarily occupied by the 
French ambassador, in 1699. The building of Old 
Bond Street was commenced about the year 1716; 
and, even at this early period, we find it a fashion- 
able lounging-place. In the Weekly Journal, of 
the ist of June, 1717, we read: "The new build- 
ings, between Bond Street and Mary-le-bone, go 
on with all possible diligence ; and the houses 
even let and sell before they are built. They are 
already in great forwardness. Could the builders 
have supposed their labours would have produced 
a place so extremely fashionable, they might prob- 
ably have deviated, once at least, from their usual 
parsimony by making the way rather wider : as 
it is at present, coaches are greatly impeded in 
the rapidity of their course ; but this is fortunate 
for the Bond Street loungers, who are by this 
defect granted glimpses of the fashionable and 
generally titled fair, who pass and repass from two 
till five o'clock." 

From Bond Street, let us pass, through Bruton 
Street, into Berkeley Square. In Bruton Street, 
for many years, lived Richard Brinsley Sheridan, 
where his house was often so beset with duns and 
bailiffs that the provisions required for his family 


were obliged to be introduced over the iron railing 
into the area below. We have already mentioned, 
in our notices of Piccadilly, that Berkeley Square, 
Hill Street, Hay Hill, and Farm Street derive 
their names from Lord Berkeley of Stratton, and 
a property called Hay Hill Farm, of which his 
lordship had become the purchaser. Berkeley 
Square was built at the commencement of the last 
century. Lansdowne House, the principal house 
in the square, was once the residence of John, 
Earl of Bute, the celebrated minister and favourite, 
by whom it was built in 1765, and afterward sold 
by him for .22,000 to the first Marquis of Lans- 
downe, who, as Lord Shelburne, played scarcely 
a less prominent part in politics than Lord Bute. 
Many other persons of celebrity have been resi- 
dents of Berkeley Square. Here lived the " heaven- 
born general," Lord Clive, and Thomas Hope, the 
author of " Anastasius." Here, shortly after her 
removal from George Street, died Lady Mary 
Wortley Montagu, and here also Horace Walpole 
breathed his last. 

In Hill Street, in 17/5, lived the gifted and 
accomplished Mrs. Montagu. Hannah More writes 
to one of her sisters : " I had yesterday the pleas- 
ure of dining in Hill Street, Berkeley Square, at a 
certain Mrs. Montagu's, a name not totally obscure. 
The party consisted of Mrs. Carter, Doctor John- 
son, Solander, and Maty, Mrs. Boscawen, Miss 
Reynolds, and Sir Joshua, the idol of every com- 


pany, some others persons of high rank and less 
wit, and your humble servant, a party that 
would not have disgraced the table of Laelius, or 
of Atticus." 

Hay Hill is interesting as being the spot where 
a skirmish took place between the rebels and the 
royal forces, during Sir Thomas Wyatt's insurrec- 
tion in 1554. Here, after his execution, the head 
of Sir Thomas was exposed on the common gibbet, 
three of his most dangerous associates being hung 
in chains on the same spot. From Hay Hill we 
pass into Grafton Street, where Charles James. 
'Fox resided when secretary of state for foreign 
affairs in 1782, and thence return to Bond Street, 
to the east of which we will point out a few spots 
worthy of notice. 

In Conduit Street, a few yards from Bond Street, 
is a small chapel dedicated to the Holy Trinity, to 
which a peculiar interest attaches itself. When 
James the Second sought to seduce his subjects, 
and more especially the army, to embrace the 
Roman Catholic religion, he caused a large wooden 
chapel to be erected, movable at will, which was 
wheeled to Hounslow Heath, where his army was 
then lying, and occasionally moved from one part 
of the camp to the other. When James was sub- 
sequently compelled to fly the kingdom, this chapel 
was brought back to London, and placed in what 
was then fields, where it remained till 1716, when 
the present Trinity Chapel was erected on its site. 


In 1/72, Boswell mentions Doctor Johnson drink- 
ing tea with him at his lodgings in Conduit Street. 
From Conduit Street a narrow passage leads 
us into Saville Row ; here Henrietta, Countess of 
Suffolk, the celebrated mistress of George the 
Second, lived after the death of her royal lover ; 
here the well-known Betty Germaine was residing 
in 1741 ; and here Richard Brinsley Sheridan 
breathed his last. At the north end of Saville 
Row is Uxbridge House, the work of Leoni, for- 
merly called Queensberry House, from having been 
the residence of Charles, third Duke of Queens- 
berry, and his beautiful duchess, Katherine Hyde, 
the "Kitty" of Prior, and rendered still more 
celebrated by the verse of Pope : 

" If Queensberry to strip there's no compelling, 
' Tis from a handmaid we must paint a Helen." 

It was here that Gay was domesticated and 
petted by his affectionate patrons, the Duke and 
Duchess of Queensberry, and in this house he 
died. To Pope he writes, about two years before 
his death : " My melancholy increases, and every 
hour threatens me with some return of my dis- 
temper. Not the divine looks, the kind favours 
and expressions of the divine duchess, nor the 
inexpressible goodness of the duke, can in the 
least cheer me. The drawing-room no more re- 
ceives light from these two stars ; there is now, 
what Milton says is in hell, 'darkness visible.' 


Oh, that I had never known what a court was ! " 
How beautifully has Pope done justice to the 
affectionate friendship of the Duchess of Queens- 
berry ! 

" Blest be the great, for those they take away, 
And those they left me, for they left me Gay ; 
Left me to see neglected genius bloom, 
Neglected die, and tell it on his tomb : 
Of all thy blameless life the sole return, 
My verse, and Queensberry weeping o'er thy urn ! " 

In Cork Street, which runs parallel with Saville 
Row, died the gifted and amiable Doctor Arbuth- 
not, the courtly physician of Queen Anne, and 
the friend of Pope, Gay, Bolingbroke, and Swift ; 
and in this street, also, the well-known General 
Wade had a house, which was designed by Lord 
Burlington. It was wittily said of it, that it was 
too small to live in, and too large to append to 
a watch- ribbon ; indeed, so inconvenient was its 
interior, and so fantastic its exterior, that Lord 
Chesterfield observed, "Since the general could 
not live in it, he had better hire the opposite 
house in order to look at it." No vestige of it 
now remains. In Cork Street Doctor Johnson 
was a frequent visitor at the house of Mr. Dia- 
mond, an apothecary. About the year 1752, he 
used to dine there nearly every Sunday, accom- 
panied by his blind prote"ge"e, Mrs. Williams, the 



St. James's Street Clubs Colonel Blood Cocoa Tree Tav- 
ern Thatched House Death of Gibbon Byron. 

ST. JAMES'S STREET, styled in 1670 the "Long 
Street," appears to have grown into a regular 
street between the last days of the Protectorate 
and the early part of the reign of Charles the 
Second ; and, it is almost needless to add, derived 
its name from the neighbouring palace of St. 
James's. It has continued, almost from the days 
of the merry monarch to the present time, to be 
the nucleus of fashionable society, and the loung- 
ing-place of the witty and the gay. In the days 
of Queen Anne, it was scarcely less celebrated 
for the gifted society which frequented its exclu- 
sive chocolate-houses, than it is at the present 
time for the fashionable clubs which are its prin- 
cipal characteristics ; the latter, unfortunately, 
preserving the worst qualities which distinguished 
the society of the last century, without either the 
dignity of its talent or the fascination of its wit. 

It is rather remarkable that two of the most 
fashionable clubs of our own time the " Cocoa 



Tree " and "White's " should have sprung from 
the "Cocoa Tree Tavern" and "White's Choco- 
late House " of the reign of Queen Anne. The 
former the favourite resort of George the 
Fourth when Prince of Wales has only ceased 
to exist within the last few years, while White's 
has recently acquired a second youth. Even as 
late as 1745, we find, by the correspondence of 
the day, that the latter still continued to be called 
" White's Chocolate House." ' Could we fortu- 
nately obtain proper materials, there would be no 
social history more curious or more amusing than 
that of White's Club, from the days of Addison and 
Swift, to those of Lord Alvanley and Brummel. 

The first event of any interest connected with 
St. James's Street is the seizure of the Duke of 
Ormond's person by the notorious Colonel Blood, 
on the night of the 6th of December, 1 670. The 
duke, when Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, had exe- 
cuted some of Blood's accomplices, who had been 
engaged in a treasonable design of surprising 
Dublin Castle, and, in revenge for this act, Blood 
expressed his determination to seize the duke's 
person, and hang him at Tyburn. Accordingly, 
on a dark night, as the duke was returning 
from an entertainment in the city, and was passing 
the bottom of St. James's Street, at the end of 

1 A letter from Doctor Newton to George Selwyn, dated 10 
December, 1745, is addressed to him at "White's Chocolate 
House, St. James's, London." 


which, facing the palace, stood Berkshire, after- 
ward Cleveland House, where he then resided, 
the door of his coach was opened, and he was 
dragged out by Blood and five of his associates, 
and mounted on horseback behind one of the 
party. The duke, as usual, was attended by six 
footmen. It was the general custom of the time 
for these persons to hang behind the coach of 
their master, but his Grace, willing to spare his 
horses so great an additional weight, had caused 
iron spikes to be driven behind the cumbrous 
vehicle, in order to prevent his domestics getting 
up ; a practice which, notwithstanding the present 
attempt to assassinate him, he continued to the 
day of his death. The duke's footmen, therefore, 
were in the habit of attending him, three by three, 
on each side of the street ; but on the present 
occasion they were accidentally some distance 
off when Blood and his associates made their 

In the meantime the latter, having carefully 
bound the duke to their companion, hurried him 
up St. James's Street in the direction of Tyburn ; 
Blood, it is said, riding on before for the purpose 
of adjusting the rope to the gallows. They had 
proceeded somewhat farther than the present 
Devonshire House, when the duke contrived to 
get one of his feet under that of his companion, 
and, though sixty years of age, succeeded in un- 
horsing him. They both fell in the mud, and had 


continued struggling on the ground for some sec- 
onds, when the duke's servants, who had been 
alarmed by the outcries of the coachman, fortu- 
nately made their appearance. The ruffian then 
disengaged himself, and, having fired two pistols 
at the duke, which providentially missed their aim, 
the whole party rode off as fast as they could. 
When the duke's servants reached the spot, his 
Grace was so exhausted by the struggle as to be 
unable to speak, and so dark was the night that 
it was only from the light reflected from the 
diamonds in his star that they were enabled to 
discover the spot where he lay. 

There is said to be honour among thieves, 
and, consequently, notwithstanding that a thou- 
sand pounds a vast sum in the days of Charles 
the Second was offered for the discovery of 
the perpetrators of this impudent outrage, Blood 
remained, if not without suspicion, at least unmo- 
lested. It was not till the following year, when 
he was captured in his famous attempt to seize 
the crown jewels, that it became generally known 
that he was the instigator of the attempt on the 
life of the Duke of Ormond. He was immedi- 
ately conducted to the Tower, where, with that 
calm intrepidity which was the constitutional char- 
acteristic of this extraordinary man, he patiently 
and sullenly awaited the ignominious death which 
he could not fail to expect would be the inevitable 
consequence of his crime. 


To the astonishment, however, of the world, 
Charles the Second expressed his determination 
of examining the daring culprit in person before 
his Privy Council. Blood, who seems to have been 
intimately acquainted with the character and fail- 
ings of his sovereign, took every advantage of this 
unexpected piece of good fortune ; and, indeed, his 
conduct while under examination was a masterpiece 
of cunning. He excited the admiration of the king 
by his indomitable courage ; he charmed him with 
the readiness of his wit, and ingeniously flattered 
him by the high respect which he expressed per- 
sonally for his sovereign. The interview, indeed, 
was altogether a remarkable one. He candidly 
told the king, who put several questions to him 
in person, that on one occasion he had been 
engaged to kill his Majesty, and with this pur- 
pose had concealed himself, with a loaded carbine, 
in some reeds by the side of the Thames above 
Battersea, where Charles was accustomed to bathe ; 
but he added that he was struck with so great 
an awe at the sight of majesty, that his heart 
failed him, and he relinquished the design. 

He candidly confessed that he was author of 
the outrage on the Duke of Ormond ; but when 
asked to name his associates, " I would never," 
he said, " betray a friend's life, nor be guilty of 
a falsehood to save my own." When asked what 
provocation he could have received from the duke, 
his Grace, he said, had deprived him of his 


estate, and had executed some of his friends ; and 
he added that he belonged to a gang of ruffians 
as desperate as himself, who had bound themselves 
by the most solemn oaths to revenge the death of 
any of their associates. When asked by Charles 
how he could have the audacity to make his 
attempt on the crown jewels, " My father," said 
Blood, "lost a good estate for the crown, and I 
considered it no crime to recover it by the crown.' 1 
"What," said the king, "if I should give you your 
life?" "I shall endeavour," replied Blood, "to 
deserve it." 

Charles was evidently predisposed to pardon, 
but the Duke of Ormond was too powerful a 
subject not to be consulted on the occasion, and 
how could he be expected to overlook either the 
insolent outrage, or the daring attempt on his life ? 
His reply, however, was worthy of the man. " If 
your Majesty," he said, "forgive his attempt on 
the crown, how can I withhold my forgiveness at 
his attempt on my life ? " Blood was accordingly 
not only pardoned, but became even a favourite 
at court, had a pension conferred on him, and was 
subsequently the means of screening from the 
hands of justice more than one of his associates 
in treason and in crime. 

The Cocoa Tree Tavern, the lounging-place of 
the wits, the dandies, and adventurers of the days 
of Queen Anne, stood apparently on the site of 
the present building, which still bears its name, 



No. 64, on the west side of St. James's Street. 
Addison mentions it as a place of fashionable 
resort as early as 1710. "Sometimes," he says, 
" I am seen thrusting my head into a round of 
politicians at Wills's, and listening with great atten- 
tion to the narratives that are made in those little 
circular audiences. Sometimes I smoke a pipe at 
Childs's, and while I seem attentive to nothing but 
the postman [newspaper], overhear the conver- 
sation of every table in the room. I appear on 
Sunday nights at St. James's Coffee-house, and 
sometimes join the little committee of politics in 
the inner room, as one who comes there to hear 
and improve. My face is likewise known at the 
Grecian, the Cocoa Tree, and in the theatres both 
of Drury Lane and the Haymarket. I have been 
taken for a merchant upon the Exchange for above 
these ten years, and sometimes pass for a Jew in 
the assembly of stock-jobbers at Jonathan's. In 
short, whenever I see a cluster of people, I always 
mix with them, though I never open my lips but 
in my own club." 

It may be interesting, perhaps, to point the site 
of the different places here mentioned. Childs's 
Coffee-house, then the resort of the clergy, was in 
St. Paul's Churchyard ; St. James's stood at the 
bottom of St. James's Street, the corner house on 
the west side, opposite the palace ; the Grecian 
stood in Devereux Court, outside Temple Bar, 
and continued to be styled the Grecian Coffee- 


house till within the last year or two, when it 
was converted into sets of hired chambers ; and 
Jonathan's, the resort of the merchants and stock- 
jobbers, was in Change Alley. 

The Cocoa Tree was the resort of Swift during 
his occasional visits to London, after he had be- 
come Dean of St. Patrick's. Prior, the poet, 
writes to him on the 3Oth of July, 1717 : "I have 
been made to believe that we may see your 
reverend person this summer in England ; if so, 
I shall be glad to meet you at any place ; but 
when you come to London, do not go to the 
Cocoa Tree (as you sent your letter), but come 
immediately to Duke Street, where you shall find 
a bed, a book, and a candle; so pray think of 
sojourning nowhere else." 

Gibbon, the historian, was a member of the 
Cocoa Tree after it had been converted into a 
fashionable club. On the 24th of November, 
1762, he inserts in his private journal: "I dined 
at the Cocoa Tree with Holt. We went thence 
to the play (the Spanish Friar '), and when it 
was over, returned to the Cocoa Tree. That 
respectable body, of which I have the honour of 
being a member, affords every evening a sight 
truly English. Twenty or thirty, perhaps, of the 
first men in the kingdom, in point of fashion and 
fortune, supping at little tables covered with a 
napkin, in the middle of a coffee-room, upon a bit 
of cold meat or a sandwich, and drinking a glass 


of punch. At present, we are full of king's coun- 
sellors and lords of the bedchamber ; who, having 
jumped into the ministry, make a very singular 
medley of their old principles and language with 
their modern ones." Gibbon was also a member 
of White's, Boodle's, and Almack's, to the latter of 
which he gave the preference. On the 24th of 
June, 1776, he writes from Almack's: "Town 
grows empty, and this house, where I have passed 
many agreeable hours, is the only place which 
still invites the flower of the English youth. The 
style of living, though somewhat expensive, is ex- 
ceedingly pleasant, and, notwithstanding the rage 
of play, I have found more entertaining, and even 
rational society here, than in any other club to 
which I belong." 

The Cocoa Tree is connected with another 
illustrious name, that of Lord Byron, who was 
also a member of the club. To Mr. Moore he 
writes on the gth of April, 1814 : " I am but just 
returned to town, from which you may infer that 
I have been out of it ; and I have been boxing, for 
exercise, with Jackson for this last month daily. 
I have also been drinking, and, on one occasion, 
with three other friends at the Cocoa Tree, from 
six till four, yea, until five in the matin. We 
clareted and champagned till two, then supped, 
and finished with a kind of regency punch com- 
posed of Madeira, brandy, and green tea, no real 
water being admitted therein. There was a night 


for you ! without once quitting the table except 
to ambulate home, which I did alone, and in utter 
contempt of a hackney-coach and my own vis, 
both of which were deemed necessary for our 
conveyance. And so, I am very well, and they 
say it will hurt my constitution." Lord Byron 
was at this time residing at the Albany in Picca- 
dilly. The rooms in which Gibbon moralised, and 
Lord Byron debauched, are now converted into 
a gunsmith's shop below, and, I believe, billiard- 
tables and French hazard above. 

The Thatched House, another celebrated place 
of entertainment in the days of Queen Anne, 
stood somewhat lower down, on a part of the 
ground on which the Conservative Club now 
stands. Swift writes to Stella on the 2Oth of 
December, 1711: "I dined, you know, with our 
society, and that odious secretary [Lord Boling- 
broke] would make me president next week ; so 
I must entertain them this day se'night at the 
Thatched House Tavern, where we dined to-day ; 
it will cost me five or six pounds, yet the secre- 
tary says he will give me wine." Again Swift 
writes on the 27th of the same month : "I enter- 
tained our society at the Thatched House Tavern 
to-day at dinner ; but Brother Bathurst sent for 
wine, the house affording none." The "society," 
alluded to by Swift, consisted of a club compris- 
ing the most eminent men in rank, literature, and 
politics, at the commencement of the last century. 


In the Thatched House Tavern, the celebrated 
literary and dilettanti clubs held for many years 
their meetings. Both of these clubs were origi- 
nally founded at the Turk's Head Tavern, in 
Gerard Street, Soho, Sir Joshua Reynolds hav- 
ing had the merit of being the proposer and prin- 
cipal promoter of both. The portraits of several 
members of the latter club, more than one of 
them the work of Sir Joshua, are still preserved 
in the present Thatched House Tavern in St. 
James's Street. 

On the 5th of April, 1684, died at his house in 
St. James's Street, William, Lord Brounker, whom 
Bishop Burnet styles a " profound mathematician," 
but who is now principally remembered from hav- 
ing been the first president of the Royal Society. 
According to Anthony Wood, he did much honour 
to the society, and advanced it by his learning 
and experience ; but Evelyn, who was probably 
better acquainted with him, observes : " He was 
noted for a hard, covetous, vicious man, though 
for his worldly craft, and skill in gaining, few 
exceeded him." On the 25th of February, 1723, 
the great architect, Sir Christopher Wren, died 
in St. James's Street. It was his custom to fall 
asleep after dinner, and one evening, his servant, 
observing that he had slept longer than usual, 
entered his apartment and found him dead in his 

In a house in St. James's Street, adjoining 


Brooke's Club, lived, in 1781, Charles James Fox. 
It was the scene of many of his follies and dis- 
tresses. Horace Walpole writes to Marshal Con- 
way on the 3ist of May, 1781 : "I had been to see 
if Lady Ailesbury was come to town ; as I came 
up St. James's Street I saw a cart and porters 
at Charles Fox's door ; coppers and old chests of 
drawers loading. In short, his success at faro has 
awakened his host of creditors ; but unless his 
bank had swelled to the size of the Bank of Eng- 
land, it could not have yielded a sop apiece for 
each. Epsom, too, had been unpropitious, and 
one creditor has actually seized and carried off 
his goods, which did not seem worth removing. 
As I returned full of this scene, whom should I 
find sauntering by my own door but Charles ? He 
came up, and talked to me at the coach window 
on the Marriage Bill, with as much sang-froid as 
if he knew nothing of what had happened." 

" Hark where the voice of battle shouts from far, 
The Jews and Macaronis are at war ; 
The Jews prevail, and thundering from the stocks, 
They seize, they bind, they circumcise Charles Fox." 

St. James's Street witnessed the closing scene 
of the great historian, Edward Gibbon, on the i6th 
of January, 1 794. The account which Lord Shef- 
field gives of the last moments of his illustrious 
friend is deeply interesting. " After I left him on 
Tuesday afternoon, he saw some company, Lady 


Lucan and Lady Spenser, and thought himself well 
enough at night to omit the opium draught which 
he had been used to take for some time. He slept 
very indifferently ; before nine the next morning 
he rose, but could not eat his breakfast. However, 
he appeared tolerably well, yet complained at 
times of a pain in his stomach. At one o'clock 
he received a visit of an hour from Madame de 
Silva ; and at three, his friend, Mr. Crawford, of 
Auchinames (whom he always mentioned with 
particular regard), called, and stayed with him till 
past five o'clock. They talked, as usual, on various 
subjects ; and twenty hours before his death Mr. 
Gibbon happened to fall into a conversation, not 
uncommon with him, on the probable duration of 
his life. He said that he thought himself a good 
life for ten, twelve, or perhaps twenty years. 
About six, he ate the wing of a chicken, and 
drank three glasses of Madeira. After dinner, he 
became very uneasy and impatient ; complained a 
good deal, and appeared so weak that his servant 
was alarmed. Mr. Gibbon had sent to his friend 
and relation, Mr. Robert Darell, whose house was 
not far distant, desiring to see him, and adding 
that he had something particular to say. But, 
unfortunately, this desired interview never took 

" During the evening he complained much of 
his stomach and of a disposition to vomit. Soon 
after nine he took his opium draught, and went 


to bed. About ten he complained of much pain, 
and desired that warm napkins might be applied 
to his stomach. He almost incessantly expressed 
a sense of pain till about four o'clock in the morn- 
ing, when he said he found his stomach much 
easier. About seven the servant asked whether 
he should send for Mr. Farquhar ? He answered 
no ; that he was as well as he had been the day 
before. About half-past eight he got out of bed, 
and said he was plus adroit than he had been 
for three months past, and got into bed again, 
without assistance, better than usual. About 
nine he said that he would rise. The servant, 
however, persuaded him to remain in bed till Mr. 
Farquhar, who was expected at eleven, should 
come. Till about that hour he spoke with great 
facility. Mr. Farquhar came at the time appointed, 
and he was then visibly dying. When the valet 
de chambre, after attending Mr. Farquhar out of 
the room, returned, Mr. Gibbon said, ' Pourquoi 
est ce que vous me quittez ? ' This was about 
half-past eleven. At twelve he drank some brandy 
and water from a teapot, and desired his favourite 
servant to stay with him. These were the last 
words he pronounced articulately. To the last he 
preserved his senses ; and when he could no longer 
speak, his servant having asked a question, he 
made a sign to show that he understood him. He 
was quite tranquil, and did not stir, his eyes half 
shut. About a quarter before one he ceased to 


breathe. The valet de chambre observed that Mr. 
Gibbon did not, at any time, show the least sign 
of alarm or apprehension of death ; and it does 
not appear that he ever thought himself in danger, 
unless his desire to speak to Mr. Darell may be 
considered in that light." 

Lord Sheffield hastened to the bedside of his 
dying friend, but, on his arrival in St. James's 
Street, he found that the great historian had ceased 
to exist. He caused the remains of his friend to 
be interred in the burial-place of his family at 
Sheffield Place in Sussex. The house in which 
Gibbon breathed his last was No. 76 St. James's 
Street, near the corner of Little St. James's Street, 
and was pulled down to make room for the present 
Conservative Club. 

No. 62, higher up the street (now occupied by 
Lauriere, the jeweller), was, in the last century, 
well known as Betty's fruit-shop, where men of 
wit and fashion met to discuss the scandal or poli- 
tics of the day. It would seem that the old lady 
herself had some reputation for saying good things ; 
at least, Horace Walpole writes to George Selwyn 
on the 2d of December, 1 765 : " When you have a 
quarter of an hour awake, and to spare, I wish you 
would bestow it on me. There are no such things 
as bons mots here to send you, and I cannot hope 
that you will send me your own ; next to them I 
should like Charles Townshend's, but I don't de- 
sire Betty's." Walpole, elsewhere describing a 


party of pleasure at Vauxhall, mentions that Betty 
accompanied them to the gardens with baskets of 
strawberries and cherries. 

With a name scarcely less illustrious than that 
of Gibbon we will conclude our notices of St. 
James's Street. Lord Byron, at the time when 
the publication of his " English Bards and Scotch 
Reviewers " rendered his name for the first time 
conspicuous in the literary history of his country, 
resided at No. 8 in this street. It was from this 
house that the proud and misanthropic poet de- 
parted, on a melancholy and well-known occasion, 
to take his seat in the House of Lords as a peer 
of the realm, "in a state," says Moore, "more lone 
and unfriended, perhaps, than any youth of his 
high station had ever before been reduced to on 
such an occasion, not having a single individual 
of his own class either to take him by the hand 
as friend, or acknowledge him as acquaintance." 
Nothing can be more strikingly dramatic than the 
account which his relative, Mr. Dallas, gives of 
this painful passage in the life of the great poet. 
" I was passing down St. James's Street," he says, 
"with no intention of calling, when I saw his 
chariot at the door, and went in. His counte- 
nance, paler than usual, showed that his mind was 
agitated, and that he was thinking of the noble- 
man x to whom he had once looked for a hand and 
countenance in his introduction to the House. He 
1 His relative, the late Earl of Carlisle. 


said to me, ' I am glad you happened to come in ; 
I am going to take my seat, perhaps you will go 
with me.' I expressed my readiness to attend 
him, while, at the same time, I concealed the shock 
I felt on thinking that this young man, who by 
birth, fortune, and talent stood high in life, should 
have lived so unconnected and neglected by per- 
sons of his own rank that there was not a single 
member of the senate to which he belonged to 
whom he would or could apply to introduce him 
in a manner becoming his birth ; I saw that he 
felt the situation, and I fully partook of his indig- 
nation." The subsequent scene in the House of 
Lords is graphically described by Dallas, but is 
too long for insertion. "We returned to St. 
James's Street," he says, " but he did not recover 
his spirits." 



Bennet Street Arlington Street Park Place St. James's 
Place Cleveland Row King Street Almack's Little 
Ryder Street Bury Street. 

THE streets diverging from St. James's Street 
are all of them more or less associated with some 
person of celebrity or some event of interest. As 
we descend toward St. James's Palace, the first 
opening to the right is Bennet Street, a small 
avenue leading to Arlington Street. At No. 4 
Bennet Street, in the apartments which he occu- 
pied on the first floor, Lord Byron composed the 
" Giaour," the " Bride of Abydos," and the " Cor- 
sair." He resided here during a great part of 
the years of 1813 and 1814, and sometimes in his 
letters amuses himself with playfully styling it 
Benedictine Street. 

Let us pass on to Arlington Street, so called 
from the Bennets, Earls of Arlington, which, con- 
sidering how small a number of houses it contains, 
has been inhabited by a greater number of persons 
of note and genius than perhaps any other street 
of the same size in London. As early as the 



reign of Queen Anne we find it containing the 
residences of several persons of rank. Here, in 
1708, were residing the Duke of Richmond, Lord 
Brook, Lord Cholmondley, Lord Guildford, and 
Lord Kingston. Here, before her marriage, in 
the pride of youth, of beauty, and of genius, re- 
sided Lady Mary Wortley Montagu ; here, in 
1 739, lived the celebrated William Pulteney, after- 
ward Earl of Bath, and to this street, three years 
afterward, retired his great rival, Sir Robert Wai- 
pole, when his famous defeat in the House of 
Commons terminated his long political career. It 
was here that the great minister breathed his last. 
In a small house, adjoining that of his father, 
his scarcely less celebrated son, Horace Walpole, 
resided for many years, and from hence many of 
the most charming of his letters are dated. To 
Arlington Street, when Prince of Wales, George 
the Second retired to sulk with his small court 
after his memorable quarrel with his father ; and 
here the celebrated Duke of Cumberland, the 
"Butcher" of Culloden, dined the same day on 
which he died. Charles James Fox resided for 
some time in Arlington Street ; and here, at the 
house of the Duke of Rutland, lamented by every 
one but his creditors, his late Royal Highness, the 
Duke of York, breathed his last. 

As we pass down St. James's Street, the next 
opening on the west side is Park Place. At No. 
9 lived the well-known antiquary, Sir William 


Musgrave, and in this street Hume, the histo- 
rian, resided when under secretary of state in 
1769. We next arrive at St. James's Place, a 
street in which the houses remain nearly the same 
as they existed in the days of Queen Anne. Here 
the celebrated Addison had a house, and in this 
street occasionally resided Thomas Parnell, the 
poet, the friend and correspondent of Congreve, 
Addison, and Steele, of Swift, Pope, Gay, and 
Arbuthnot. Future chroniclers of the local asso- 
ciations of London will point out the residence 
of a third poet, Mr. Rogers, and will do honour 
to the walls where Byron, Southey, Wordsworth, 
-Coleridge, and Campbell have been favoured 
guests, and in which, at different times, have 
assembled all the wit, the beauty, and the talent 
of the present century. 

In St. James's Place, in a house overlooking 
the Green Park, lived the charming and beautiful 
Mary Lepel, Lady Hervey, the idol of her con- 
temporaries, and celebrated in verse by Pope, 
Gay, Voltaire, Arbuthnot, Pulteney, and Lord 
'Chesterfield : 

" Now Hervey, fair of face, I mark full well, 
With thee, youth's youngest daughter, sweet Lepel." 


Lady Hervey writes from Ickworth Park on the 
5th of April, 1749: "I am preparing a dwelling 
that will suit better with my purse, though not so 


well with my inclination. I have paid dear to make 
that dwelling look as like the country as I can ; 
but I have been too much used to grass and green 
trees to bear the changing them for brick walls 
and dust." Lady Hervey could scarcely have 
fixed on any spot in London which had more the 
appearance of being in the country. The house 
in question was afterward the residence of Lord 
Hastings, and is now divided into two. At No. 1 3 
St. James's Place lived Mrs. Robinson, the actress, 
and here also, in 1756, resided the celebrated John 
Wilkes. Lastly, in St. James's Place lived the 
Right Honourable Richard Rigby, the jovial poli- 
tician and bon-vivant of the last century ; whose 
name is so intimately connected with the social 
and convivial history of that period, and will prob- 
ably long live in the pages of Junius, Wraxall, and 
Horace Walpole. 

If St. James's Place is famous for having been 
the residence of the poets, Cleveland Row (at the 
bottom of St. James's Street, facing the palace) is 
no less remarkable as having been frequented by 
v the wits. Here resided Colonel John Selwyn, an 
aid-de-camp of the great Duke of Marlborough, 
and the father of the memorable wit, George 
Selwyn ; and it was in his house that the cele- 
brated personal encounter took place between Sir 
Robert Walpole, then prime minister, and Lord 
Townshend, one of the secretaries of state. The 
particulars may be briefly related. 


During an altercation, in which they were en- 
gaged, Sir Robert exclaimed, with considerable 
warmth : " My lord, for once, there is no man's 
sincerity whom I so much doubt as your lord- 
ship's." Lord Townshend, who to many excellent 
qualities united a fiery and uncertain temperament, 
immediately seized the first minister by the throat. 
Sir Robert grappled with his antagonist in return, 
and, after a momentary struggle, both parties 
mutually relinquished their grasp and laid their 
hands on their swords. Mrs. Selwyn, who was 
present, ran out in a fright to call in the palace 
guard ; she was prevented, however, by the cele- 
brated Henry Pelham, by whose interposition the 
friends were subsequently reconciled. According 
to Wraxall, Gay introduced this scene into the 
" Beggar's Opera," where Walpole and Townshend 
are represented as Peachum and Lockit. Unfor- 
tunately, however, for the truth of this literary 
anecdote, I find that the fracas between the two 
ministers of state did not take place till the year 
1729, at which period the "Beggar's Opera" had 
had the run of the stage about a year. 

It was in the house where this extraordinary 
scene occurred, that George Selwyn resided for 
some years, and here he died, penitent and devout, 
on the 25th of January, 1791. Close to him, in 
Cleveland Court, died, in 1805, his friend Gilly 
Williams, another celebrated wit of the last cen- 
tury, whose correspondence with Selwyn, during 


more than twenty years, has recently been given 
to the public ; and, lastly, at No. 5 Cleveland Row, 
lived a wit still more brilliant, the late lamented 
Theodore Hook. 

Previous to his great victory over De Grasse, in 
1782, Lord Rodney lived in great distress in Cleve- 
land Row. In Wraxall's " Memoirs of His Own 
Time," the reader will find an interesting account 
of him at this period. 

Cleveland Row and Cleveland Court the lat- 
ter a small area at the back take their names 
from Cleveland House, which stood close by but 
nearer the Green Park. It was originally called 
Berkshire House, from being the residence of the 
Howards, Earls of Berkshire, and was then of great 
extent. After the restoration of Charles the Sec- 
ond, it was for some time the residence of the great 
Earl of Clarendon, but was afterward purchased 
and presented by Charles the Second to his beau- 
tiful mistress, Barbara, Duchess of Cleveland, and 
was the scene of many of their revels and their 
loves. A part of the property was sold by the 
duchess, and converted into smaller houses. The 
remaining part, which she kept herself, was after- 
ward the residence of the Dukes of Bridgewater, 
but has been pulled down within the last few years, 
to make room for the splendid mansion which has 
been so long projected by the representative of 
the Bridgewater family, Lord Ellesmere. 

Passing up St. James's Street, on the east side, 


are two streets, King Street and Little Ryder 
Street, which deserve a passing notice. In King 
Street are Almack's rooms, which were opened, 
in 1765, by Almack, the proprietor of the once 
fashionable club in Pall Mall, which we have seen 
Gibbon preferring to every other club in London. 
Horace Wai pole writes to the Earl of Hertford on 
the 1 4th of February, 1765 : "The new assembly 
room at Almack's was opened the night before 
last, and they say is very magnificent, but it was 
empty ; half the town is ill with colds, and many 
were afraid to go, as the house is scarcely built 
yet. Almack advertised that it was built with hot 
bricks and boiling water ; think what a rage there 
must be for public places, if this notice, instead 
of terrifying, could draw anybody thither. They 
tell me the ceilings were dripping with wet, but 
can you believe me when I tell you the Duke of 
Cumberland was there ? Nay, he had had a levee 
in the morning, and went to the opera before the 
assembly ! There is a vast flight of steps, and he 
was forced to rest two or three times. If he died 
of it, it will sound very silly, when Hercules or 
Theseus ask him what he died of, to reply, 'I 
caught my death on a damp staircase at a new 
club-room/ " 

Somewhat higher up St. James's Street is Little 
Ryder Street, where Swift was residing in Decem- 
ber, 1712. From hence we pass into Bury Street, 
where the unfortunate Letitia Pilkington informs 


us that she lodged in the time of her necessity. 
Swift also resided here in 1710, and from this 
street many of the most interesting of his letters 
to Stella are dated. He writes to her on the iQth 
of September, 1710: "To-morrow I change my 
lodgings in Pall Mall for one in Bury Street, where 
I suppose I shall continue while in London." And 
again he writes to her on the 2Qth of the month : 
" I lodge in Bury Street, where I removed a week 
ago ; I have the first floor, a dining-room, and bed- 
chamber, at eight shillings a week, plaguy dear, 
but I spend nothing for eating, never go to a tav- 
ern, and very seldom in a coach ; yet after all it 
will be expensive." 

It is a pleasure to me to point out that Bury 
Street has long been the temporary residence of 
the author of the " Irish Melodies " and of " Lalla 
Rookh," during his periodical visits to London. 
Future historians of London may perhaps thank 
me for the information. 



St. James's Square Duke of Hamilton Frederick, Prince of 
Wales Johnson and Savage Jermyn Street Lord St. 
Albans Sir Walter Scott. J 

ST. JAMES'S SQUARE dates its existence from 
the days of Charles the Second. King Street and 
Charles Street were named in compliment to that 
monarch, as York Street and Duke Street were 
named after his brother, the Duke of York, after- 
ward James the Second. 

As early as the year 1683 we find the Marquis 
of Dorchester and the Earls of Kent, St. Albans, 
and Essex residing in St. James's Square. Many, 
however, of the ancient nobility still continued to 
retain their old family mansions in the eastern 
quarters of London, or in districts which now 
sound strangely uninhabitable to fashionable ears. 
At the period of which we are speaking, the Duke 
of Newcastle lived in Clerkenwell Close, the Earl 
of Bridgewater in the Barbican, the Earl of Thanet 
in Aldersgate Street, and Lord Grey of Werk in 
Charterhouse Close. The Dukes of Norfolk and 
Beaufort, and the Earls of Bedford and Salisbury, 



still retained the houses of their forefathers in the 
Strand ; the Marquis of Winchester, and the Earls 
of Cardigan and Powis, resided in Lincoln's Inn 
fields, and the Earls of Clare, Anglesea, and Craven 
in Drury Lane. 

When James the Second, worn out by the re- 
proaches of his young wife and the arguments of 
his priests, determined on separating from his cele- 
brated mistress, Catherine Sedley, he created her 
Baroness of Darlington and Countess of Dorches- 
ter, and removed her from her apartments in the 
royal palace of Whitehall to a house which he 
presented to her in St. James's Square. In a letter 
of the period, dated 6th of April, 1686, the writer 
says : " I imagine your Countess of Dorchester will 
speedily move hitherwards, for her house is fur- 
nishing very fine in St. James's Square, and a seat 
taken for her in the new consecrated St. Ann's 

" Yet Vane could tell what ills from beauty spring, 
And Sedley cursed the charms which pleased a king." 

When Doctor Johnson wrote this well-known 
couplet, he must have been strangely ignorant of 
the true history and real character of Lady Dor- 
chester. She retired from the embraces of her 
royal lover with a coronet, a handsome fortune, a 
house in St. James's Square, and a pew in St. 
Ann's Church. With these she possessed a wit 
and exuberance of spirits which continued with 


her apparently to the last. Speaking of the eccen- 
tric physician, Doctor Radcliffe, she said, " Doctor 
Radcliffe and myself together could cure a fever." 
With these advantages, what reason could she 
have had to curse the charms which had fascinated 
her royal lover ? 

In St. James's Square lived another minion of 
a court, William Bentinck, Earl of Portland, the 
Dutch favourite of William the Third, and here his 
body lay in state previous to its interment in West- 
minster Abbey. 

In the " New View of London," published in 
1708, St. James's Square is described as "a very 
pleasant, large, and beautiful square, mostly in- 
habited by the prime quality ; all very fine spa- 
cious building, except that side toward Pall Mall." 
At this period there were residing here, on the 
north side, the Dukes of Northumberland and 
Ormond and the Earl of Pembroke ; on the east 
side, the Earls of Sunderland and Kent, and Lords 
Ossulstone and Woodstock ; and, on the west 
side, the Duke of Norfolk and Lord Torrington. 

To St. James's Square were conveyed the re- 
mains of the unfortunate Duke of Hamilton, after 
he was killed in his famous duel with Lord Mohun. 
Swift writes, on the I5th of November, 1712: 
" This morning at eight my man brought me word 
that Duke Hamilton had fought with Lord Mohun 
and killed him, and was brought home wounded. 
I immediately sent to the duke's house in St. 


James's Square, but the porter could hardly answer 
for tears, and a great rabble was about the house. 
He was brought home in his coach by eight, while 
the poor duchess was asleep. They have removed 
her to a lodging in the neighbourhood, where I 
have been with her two hours, and am just come 
away. I never saw so melancholy a scene. She 
has moved my very soul. The lodging was in- 
convenient, and they would have removed her to 
another, but I would not suffer it, because it had 
no room backward, and she must have been tor- 
tured with the noise of the Grub Street screamers 
mentioning her husband's murder in her ears." 

Sir Robert Walpole lived at one period of his life 
in St. James's Square, and at the same time, nearly 
opposite to him, lived the celebrated Lord Ches- 
terfield, on the other side of the square. When 
George the Second quarrelled with his eldest son, 
Frederick, Prince of Wales, in 1737, and when he 
issued his peremptory order to the prince to quit 
St. James's Palace with his family, the latter took 
up his residence at Norfolk House, on the east side 
of the square, which immediately became the cen- 
tre of opposition and political intrigue. His court 
was necessarily a small one, for the king at the 
same time issued an order that no persons who 
paid their court to the prince and princess should 
be admitted to his presence. In Norfolk House 
George the Third was born, on the 4th of June, 
1738. He was a "seven months' child," as is evi- 


dent from his sister, afterward Duchess of Bruns- 
wick, having been born on the nth of August, 
1737. "The identical bed," says Wraxall, "in 
which the Princess of Wales was delivered is now 
at the Duke of Norfolk's seat of Worksop, in the 
county of Nottingham ; and it forcibly proves the 
rapid progress of domestic elegance and ease 
within the last eighty years. Except that the 
furniture is of green silk, the bed has nothing 
splendid about it, and would hardly be esteemed 
fit for the accommodation of a person of ordinary 
condition in the present times." 

In St. James's Square lived Warren Hastings, 
one of the greatest men who were ever perse- 
cuted by an ungrateful country. The residence 
of the unfortunate statesman, the Marquis of 
Londonderry, better known as Lord Castlereagh, 
was at No. 16, at the north corner of King 
Street. No. 15 was formerly occupied by Sir 
Philip Francis, the reputed and, I believe, indis- 
putable author of "Junius ;" J next door, No. 13, 
is Litchfield House, celebrated for having been 
the scene of Whig cabals in the present century ; 
and at No. n, in the northwest corner, lived the 
amiable scholar and statesman, William Wyndham. 

There remain the names of two other individ- 
uals whose history is associated with St. James's 

1 This house was occupied by Queen Caroline during the 
period of her celebrated trial, and from hence she proceeded in 
state to the House of Lords on each day that it lasted. 


Square, one of which at least is no less illustrious 
than any we have yet mentioned, while both of 
them excite feelings of deep and painful interest. 
We allude to Doctor Johnson and Savage, the 
poet. It is melancholy to reflect that, to such a 
state of misery and destitution were they reduced 
at one period of their lives, that they were unable 
to defray the expenses of a lodging, and were 
consequently compelled to wander together dur- 
ing whole nights in the streets. In after years, 
Johnson mentioned a particular night to Sir 
Joshua Reynolds, when, without a shilling be- 
tween them, he had perambulated St. James's 
Square for hours with his unfortunate friend. 
Misfortune and misconduct generally mean the 
same thing ; and whatever the errors or the 
habits of the great philosopher may have been 
at this period of his life, by improved industry 
and a life of virtue he grew to hold a high posi- 
tion in society and in the literature of his country, 
while the ill-fated Savage, by a long course of 
dissipation and self-indulgence, was reduced to 
a miserable death, within the precincts of a pro- 
vincial gaol. 

It may be necessary to observe that the statue 
in the centre of St. James's Square is that of 
William the Third. 

From St. James's Square we pass into Charles 
Street, of which I have nothing to remark but 
that it was at one period the residence of Edmund 


Burke. Close by is Jermyn Street, which derives 
its name (as does St. Albans Place, running out 
of Charles Street) from Henry Jermyn, Earl of 
St. Albans, whose mansion and gardens occupied, 
in the days of Charles the First, the spot of 
ground where Waterloo Place now stands. The 
earl, as is well known, was the lover and reputed 
husband of Henrietta Maria. Of their marriage, 
indeed, there can be little doubt ; and it was prob- 
ably on this very ground that the earl enter- 
tained and wooed his royal mistress. In her 
subsequent days of exile and distress, the once 
haughty and beautiful queen had little reason to 
congratulate herself on the frailty and condescen- 
sion which had induced her to be unfaithful to 
the memory of her martyred husband, 

" Non servata fides cineri promissa Sichaeo," 

and to bestow her hand upon a subject. Madame 
de Baviere observes, in one of her letters : " The 
widow of Charles the First made a clandestine 
marriage with her chevalier d'honneur, Lord St. 
Albans, who treated her extremely ill, so that, 
while she had not a fagot to warm herself with, 
he had in his apartment a good fire and a sumptu- 
ous table. He never gave the queen a kind word, 
and when she spoke to him, he used to say, ' Que 
me veut cette femme ? ' (What does that woman 
want ? ) " The truth of this anecdote is corrob- 
orated by Count Hamilton, in his Memoirs of 


Count de Grammont. "It is well known," he 
says, "what an excellent table the earl kept at 
Brussels, while the king, his master, was starving, 
and his mistress, the queen dowager, lived not 
over well in France." 

But Jermyn Street is associated with brighter 
names than these. We find, by his correspond- 
ence, that Sir Isaac Newton was residing here in 
1699, and here, in 1768, lived Thomas Gray, the 
poet. In a letter from him, dated the 3d of 
August, in this year, he informs his corre- 
spondent, Mr. Nicholls, that the king has con- 
ferred upon him the professorship of history at 

I seldom pass by the St. James's Hotel, in 
Jermyn Street, without reflecting with a pain- 
ful interest that it was the scene of almost the 
latest sufferings, and received nearly the last 
sigh, of Sir Walter Scott. When that great man, 
by his own particular wish, was hurried from 
the shores of the Mediterranean to breathe his 
last at his beloved Abbotsford, it was here that 
he passed the three melancholy weeks which in- 
tervened between his arrival in London and his 
departure for the banks of the Tweed. 1 "When. 

1 Just before Sir Walter Scott set out for the Continent, in 
hopes of regaining that health which never returned to him, he 
dined with the late Mr. Murray in Albemarle Street. Mr. Mur- 
ray informed me that, for some time, he joined cheerfully in 
conversation, but suddenly a thought seemed to strike him, and 


we reached the hotel," says Mr. Lockhart, "he 
recognised us with many marks of tenderness, 
but signified that he was totally exhausted; so 
no attempt was made to remove him farther, and 
he was put to bed immediately. To his children, 
all assembled once more about him, he repeatedly 
gave his blessing in a very solemn manner, as if 
expecting immediate death ; but he was never in 
a condition for conversation, and sunk either 
into sleep or delirious stupor upon the slightest 
effort." The account of Fergusson, who was sel- 
dom absent from Sir Walter's pillow during his 
sojourn in Jermyn Street, is extremely interest- 
ing. "When I saw Sir Walter," he says, "he 
was lying in the second-floor back room of the 
St. James's Hotel in Jermyn Street, in a state 
of stupor, from which, however, he could be 
roused for a moment by being addressed, and 
then he recognised those about him, but im- 
mediately relapsed. I think I never saw any- 
thing more magnificent than the symmetry of 
his colossal bust, as he lay on the pillow with his 
chest and neck exposed. During the time he was 
in Jermyn Street he was calm but never collected, 
and in general either in absolute stupor or in a 

an expression of melancholy passed over his face. After a 
short pause, he said, " It is singular that both Fielding and 
Smollett should have died in foreign countries ; " evidently re- 
flecting on his own shattered state of health, and foreseeing that 
the fate of his two illustrious brother novelists would in all prob- 
ability be his own. 


waking dream. He never seemed to know where 
he was, but imagined himself to be still in the 
steamboat. The rattling of carriages and the 
noises of the street sometimes disturbed this 
illusion, and then he fancied himself at the poll- 
ing of Jedburgh, where he had been insulted 
and stoned. 1 During the whole of this period of 
apparent helplessness, the great features of his 
character could not be mistaken. He always 
exhibited great self-possession, and acted his part 
with wonderful power whenever visited, though 
he relapsed the next moment into the stupor 
from which strange voices had roused him. A 
gentleman stumbled over a chair in his dark 
room ; he immediately started up, and, though 
unconscious that it was a friend, expressed as 
much concern and feeling as if he had never been 
labouring under the irritation of disease. It was 
impossible, even for those who most constantly 
saw and waited on him in his then deplorable 
condition, to relax from the habitual deference 
which he had always inspired. He expressed his 
will as determinedly as ever, and enforced it by 
the same apt and good-natured irony as he was 
wont to use. At length his constant yearning 

1 To the disgrace of the Scottish nation, whom he had de- 
lighted with his writings, honoured with his genius, and enriched 
by the crowds of strangers which flocked to their country to 
visit the scenes which his pen has immortalised, this great man, 
as is well known, during an election at Jedburgh, was stoned 
and actually spit at by a brutal populace ! 


to return to Abbotsford induced his physicians to 
consent to his removal ; and the moment this 
was notified to him it seemed to infuse new 
vigour into his frame. It was on a calm clear 
afternoon of the /th of July that every preparation 
was made for his embarkation on board the steam- 
boat. He was placed on a chair by his faithful 
servant, Nicholson, half-dressed, and loosely wrapt 
in a quilted dressing-gown. He requested Lock- 
hart and myself to wheel him toward the light of 
the open window, and we both remarked the 
vigorous lustre of his eye. He sat there silently 
gazing on space for more than half an hour, ap- 
parently wholly occupied with his own thoughts, 
and having no distinct perception of where he 
was, or how he came there. He suffered himself 
to be lifted into his carriage, which was sur- 
rounded by a crowd, among whom were many 
gentlemen on horseback, who had loitered about 
to gaze on the scene. His children were deeply 
affected, and Mrs. Lockhart trembled from head 
to foot, and wept bitterly. Thus surrounded by 
those nearest to him, he alone was unconscious 
of the cause or the depth of their grief, and while 
yet alive seemed to be carried to his grave." 

On the 7th of July, 1832, Sir Walter embarked 
on board the steam-vessel for Scotland. On the 
nth his eye once more brightened up as it caught 
the familiar waters of the Tweed, and when at 
length he recognised the Towers of his own 


Abbotsford, he sprang up in the carriage with a 
cry of delight. On the 2ist of September the 
mighty master of romance and song had ceased 
to exist. 

" Oh ! who, like him, could soar from zone to zone, 
And paint alike the cottage and the throne ! 
Feelings that still from every bosom flow, 
Yet flowed the same a thousand years ago ; 
Joy in her wildness, anguish in her throes, 
The rich man's pageantry, the poor man's woes ; 
Nature, the same in all her various climes, 
The picture of all countries and all times ; 
Warming each heart to soar on Fancy's wings, 
And making peasants intimate with kings. 
His name is blazed in many a distant land, 
By foreign tongues his wondrous words are scanned ; 
Millions unborn, their magic to partake, 
Shall learn the language for the poet's sake. 
Him, too, shall virtue mourn, whose muse begot 
' No line which dying he could wish to blot ; * 
The master-spirit, who has left behind 
An universal debtor in mankind ! 
Then, had ye seen him heave the generous sigh, 
Where Anguish groaned, and Want retired to die ; 
Seen how his glance in gentlest pity fell, 
To soothe those pangs his pen could draw so well ; 
Or, where the circle closed around the fire, 
Watched the kind husband, and th' indulgent sire ; 
Warm from your hearts would flow the fond regard, 
Ye'd love the Christian, as ye prize the bard. 
Ev'n when he wandered on a foreign shore, 
To seek that health which must return no more ; 
Ev'n then from that worn frame no groan was wrung, 
No fretful murmur faltered on his tongue ; 


But one fond wish his native land to reach, 

And fix his dying eyes on that loved beach ; 

The land his childhood roamed, his manhood prized, 

The scenes his genius has immortalised ! " 



Former State of Pall Mall Sir Thomas Wyatt Murder of 
Thynne Charles the Second's Mistresses Beau Fielding's 
Strange Adventure Schomberg House Star and Garter 
Duke of Buckingham's Residence Carlton House. 

ABOUT the year 1660 the tract of ground on 
which Pall Mall, St. James's Square, and Picca- 
dilly now stand consisted of open fields, St. 
James's Street alone being partially built. The 
wall of St. James's Park ran along the site of the 
houses on the south side of Pall Mall, and the only 
buildings to be seen west of Charing Cross were a 
small church, the name of which is not remem- 
bered ; the conduit, a small Gothic building, 
which stood nearly on the site of St. James's 
Square ; and a house of public refreshment. 
The latter building was probably the tavern, 
called the " Old Pall Mall," at which Pepys in- 
forms us that he occasionally supped. Anderson, 
who wrote in the middle of the last century, ob- 
serves : " I have met with several old persons in 
my younger days, who remembered when there 
was but one single house (a cake-house) betweea 



the Mews Gate at Charing Cross and St. James's 
Palace Gate, where now stand the stately piles of 
St. James's Square, Pall Mall, and other fine 
streets." The tract of ground on which Pall 
Mall now stands was apparently the meadow, 
" always green," to which Le Serre alludes in his 
" Entree Royale." " Near the avenues of the 
palace," he says, "is a large meadow, always 
green, in which the ladies walk in summer. Its 
great gate has a long street in front, reaching 
nearly to the fields. The palace itself is built of 
brick, very ancient, with a flat leaden roof, and is 
surrounded at top by crenelles." 

It was along the site of the present Pall Mall 
that Sir Thomas Wyatt marched his troops in his 
rash attempt on London in 1554. The Earl of 
Pembroke, who advanced to oppose him at the 
head of the royal forces, planted his artillery on 
the high ground, where Hay Hill and Piccadilly 
now stand, when a piece of the queen's ordnance, 
we are told, slew three of Wyatt's followers in a 
rank, and, after carrying off their heads, passed 
through the wall into the Park. Stowe, in his 
brief narrative of the insurrection, affords us an 
interesting account of the locality of this part of 
London in the middle of the sixteenth century. 
" The same night (February 6th), about five of 
the clock, a trumpeter went about and warned all 
horsemen and men of arms to be at St. James's 
Field, and all footmen to be there by six of the. 


clock on the next morning. The queen's scout, 
upon his return to the court, declared Wyatt's 
being at Brentford, which sudden news made all 
the court wonderfully afraid. Drums went through 
London at four of the clock in the morning, com- 
manding all soldiers to armour, and so to Charing 

" Wyatt, hearing the Earl of Pembroke was come 
into the field, stayed at Knightsbridge until day, 
where his men, being very weary with travel of 
that night and the day before, and also partly 
feebled and faint, having received small suste- 
nance since their coming out of Southwark, rested. 
There was no small ado in London, and, likewise, 
the Tower made great preparation of defence. 
By ten of the clock the Earl of Pembroke had 
set his troop of horsemen on the hill in the 
highway, above the new bridge over against St. 
James's ; his footmen were set in two battles, 
somewhat lower and nearer Charing Cross, at the 
lane turning down the brick wall from Islington 
ward, where he also placed certain other horse- 
men ; and he had planted his ordnance upon the 
hillside. In the mean season Wyatt and his com- 
pany planted his ordnance upon a hill beyond St. 
James's, almost over against the park corner ; and 
himself, after a few words spoken to his soldiers, 
came down the old lane on foot, hard by the court 
gate at St. James's, with four or five ancients, his 
men marching in good array. The Earl of Pem- 


broke' s horsemen hovered all this while without 
moving until all was passed by, saving the tail, 
upon which they did set and cut off. The other 
marched forward in array, and never stayed or 
returned to the aid of their tail. The great ord- 
nance shot off freshly on both sides, Wyatt's 
ordnance overshot the troop of horsemen. The 
queen's ordnance, one piece, struck three of Wy- 
att's company in a rank, upon the heads, and, 
slaying them, struck through the wall into the 
park. More harm was not done by the great shot 
of either party. 

" The queen's whole battle of footmen standing 
still, Wyatt passed along by the wall toward Char- 
ing Cross, when the said horsemen that were there 
set upon part of them, but were soon forced back. 
At Charing Cross there stood Sir John Gage, 
lord chamberlain, with the guard, and a number 
of others, being almost a thousand ; the which, 
upon Wyatt's coming, shot at his company, but 
at the last fled to the court gates, which certain 
pursued, and forced with shot to shut the court 
gates against them. In this repulse the said lord 
chamberlain and others were so amazed that many 
cried treason in the court, and had thought that 
the Earl of Pembroke, who was assaulting the tail 
of his enemies, had gone to Wyatt, taking his part 
against the queen. There was running and crying 
out of ladies and gentlemen, shutting of doors and 
windows, and such a shrieking and noise as was 


wonderful to hear. The noise of women and chil- 
dren," adds Stow, "when the conflict was at Char- 
ing Cross, was so great that it was heard at the 
top of the White Tower, and also the great shot 
was well discerned there out of St. James's Fields." 

On the leads of St. James's Palace stood the 
Marquis of Northampton, Sir Nicholas Penn, Sir 
Thomas Pope, and others, anxious spectators of 
the conflict. Wyatt passed on to Ludgate, but 
his followers, finding that no persons of conse- 
quence joined him, insensibly deserted him, and 
he was at length seized by Sir Maurice Berkeley 
near Temple Bar. He was beheaded on Tower 
Hill on the nth of April, 1554, and his quarters 
were set up in different parts of the metropolis. 
His head was fixed to the public gallows on Hay 
Hill, from whence it was shortly afterward stolen 
away by some of his relatives or friends. 

The next incident of interest connected with 
Pall Mall is the murder of Thomas Thynne, the 
princely lord of Longleat, on the I2th of Febru- 
ary, 1682. The scene of this celebrated tragedy 
was nearly opposite to the entrance of the present 
Opera arcade, in those days apparently a dark and 
retired spot. The story is well known. Elizabeth, 
heiress of Jocelyn Percy, eleventh Earl of North- 
umberland, had been married when a mere child 
to Henry Cavendish, Earl of Ogle, son and heir 
of Henry, Duke of Newcastle, who died in 1680, 
leaving her a " virgin widow "at an early age. 


Shortly afterward she was contracted by her 
grandmother, the old Countess of Northumber- 
land, to Thynne, on the condition, however, that, 
on account of her extreme youth, a twelvemonth 
should elapse before the consummation of the 
marriage. In the meantime, Count Coningsmark, 
afterward so celebrated as the lover of the ill-fated 
Princess Sophia of Zell, and who himself fell by 
the hand of an assassin, entertained the daring 
project of marrying the heiress of the Percys, 
and, as a preliminary step, decided on the murder 
of Thynne. With this purpose in view he engaged 
the services of three foreign adventurers, Cap- 
tain Vratz, a German ; Lieutenant Stern, a Swede ; 
and Borotski, a Pole, who, on a winter's evening 
between seven and eight o'clock, posted them- 
selves on horseback at a spot where they had 
ascertained that the equipage of Thynne would 
shortly pass. As soon as the coach appeared in 
sight the three men rode up to the window, and, 
by their imposing attitude, easily compelled the 
coachman to stop. Only one shot was fired, which 
was from a musketoon by Borotski ; but so sure 
was the aim that as many as five bullets entered 
the body of his unfortunate victim. " I happened," 
says Reresby, in his memoirs, " to be at court that 
evening, when the king, hearing the news, seemed 
greatly concerned at it, not only for the horror of 
the action itself, which was shocking to his natu- 
ral disposition, but also for fear the turn the anti- 


court party might give thereto. I left the court, 
and was just stepping into bed, when Mr. Thynne's 
gentleman came to me to grant him a hue and 
cry, and immediately at his heels comes the Duke 
of Monmouth's page, to desire me to come to him 
at Mr. Thynne's lodgings, sending his coach for 
me, which I made use of, accordingly. I found 
there his Grace, surrounded by several lords and 
gentlemen, Mr. Thynne's friends, and Mr. Thynne 
himself mortally wounded, with five shots from a 

The following epigram, in allusion to the assassi- 
nation of Thynne, appears to have been much in 
vogue at the time : 

" Here lies Tom Thynne of Longleat Hall, 

Who never would have miscarried, 
Had he married the woman he lay withal, 
Or lain with the woman he married." 

"Two anecdotes," says Horace Walpole, "are 
attached to these lines. Miss Trevor, one of the 
maids of honour to Catherine of Portugal, wife of 
Charles the Second, having discovered the Duke 
of Monmouth in bed with a lady, the duke excited 
Mr. Thynne to seduce Miss Trevor. She was 
'the woman he lay withal.' 'The woman he mar- 
ried ' was the great heiress to whom he was affi- 
anced when he was killed by Count Coningsmark 
in Pall Mall." With some difficulty the count and 
his three auxiliaries were taken into custody, Cap- 


tain Vratz being the last who was captured, in the 
house of a Swedish doctor in Leicester Fields. 
They were severally tried at Hicks's Hall, when 
Coningsmark, after some hesitation, was acquitted. 
The remaining three were found guilty, and, on 
the loth of March, 1682, suffered the last penalty 
of the law at the scene of their offence in Pall 

It appears from a small tract which was drawn 
up by the celebrated Bishop Burnet, who attended 
the criminals in their last moments, that Stern 
and Bo rot ski admitted the justice of their punish- 
ment and died penitent. Vratz, however, per- 
sisted to the last in affirming that he merely 
intended to challenge Thynne to single combat, 
and that the fact of Borotski having fired the fatal 
shot was altogether from a misapprehension of his 
orders. When Burnet attempted to impress him 
with a due sense of the heinousness of his crime, 
"he considered it to be sufficient," he said, "if he 
confessed his sins to God," and added that he 
" thought it was a piece of popery in the bishop 
to press him to confess." He expressed his firm 
conviction that he should be " received into eter- 
nal happiness," and added, as his opinion of the 
next state, that the only punishment of the damned 
would be their exclusion from the presence of God, 
and their seeing others happier than themselves. 
To Doctor Horneck, another clergyman who at- 
tended him, he expressed even more extraordinary 


opinions. " He was confident," he said, " that 
God would consider a gentleman, and deal with 
him suitably to the condition and profession he 
had placed him in ; and that he would not take it 
ill if a soldier, who lived by his sword, revenged 
an affront offered him by another." 

Burnet had more than once warned him against 
a false affectation of courage, which must neces- 
sarily desert him in his last moments. But when 
they finally met on the scaffold in Pall Mall, " he 
smiled on me," says the bishop, " and said that I 
should see it was not a false bravery, but that he 
was fearless to the last. It is certain that never 
man died with more resolution and less signs of 
fear, or the least disorder. His carriage, both in 
the cart as he was led along, and at the place 
of execution, was astonishing ; he was not only 
undaunted, but looked cheerful and smiled often. 
When the rope was put about his neck, he did not 
change colour nor tremble ; his legs were firm 
under him. He looked often about on those that 
stood in balconies and windows, and seemed to fix 
his eyes on some persons. Three or four times he 
smiled ; he would not cover his face as the rest 
did, but continued in that state, often looking up 
to heaven, with a cheerfulness in his countenance, 
and a little motion of his hands." "The captain," 
says Reresby in his "Memoirs," "died without 
the least symptom of fear ; and seeing me in my 
coach as he passed by in the cart, he made a bow 


to me with the most steady countenance, as he did 
to several of the spectators he knew, before he was 
turned off." Stern, on the scaffold, complained 
that he died for a man's fortune whom he never 
spoke to, for a woman whom he never saw, and for 
a dead man whom he never had a sight of. 

As early as the year 1690, Pall Mall appears to 
have been formed into a complete street. I find 
that the fascinating actress, Mrs. Oldfield, was 
born here in 1683 ; about the same time Nell 
Gwynn built a house in Pall Mall, overlooking 
the park, on a spot of ground which had been 
granted her by her royal lover, Charles the Sec- 
ond ; and here John Baptist Moneyer, the painter, 
died in 1690. "Nell Gwynn's house," says Pen- 
nant, "is the first good one on the left hand of 
St. James's Square as we enter from Pall Mall. 
The back room was, within memory, entirely of 
looking-glass, as was said to have been the ceiling. 
Over the chimney was her picture ; and that of 
her sister was in a third room." Unless Nell 
Gwynn occupied two different houses in this local- 
ity, Pennant's statement is incorrect. A Mr. Ewin 
writes to Granger, the historian, on the 7th of 
March, 1 77 1 : " My friend, Doctor Heberden, has 
built a fine house in Pall Mall, on the palace side ; 
he told me it was the only freehold house on that 
side ; that it was given by a long lease by Charles 
the Second to Nell Gwynn, and upon her discov- 
ering it to be only lease under the Crown, she 


returned him the lease and conveyance, saying 
she had always conveyed free under the Crown, 
and always would, and would not accept it till it 
was conveyed free to her by an act of Parliament, 
made on and for that purpose. Upon Nelly's 
death it was sold, and has been conveyed free ever 
since." This statement is perfectly correct. The 
house in question, on the site of which the light- 
hearted actress toyed with the merry monarch and 
laughed at his gay courtiers, is now No. 79 Pall 
Mall, and is still the only freehold residence on the 
park, or south side, of the street. She died here 
in 1691. 

Pall Mall is connected with two other mistresses 
of Charles the Second, the lovely and eccentric 
Hortense Mancini, Duchess of Mazarin, and the 
beautiful and imperious Duchess of Cleveland. 
The Viscountess de Longueville, who resided, in 
the days of William the Third, at the house of her 
father, in Pall Mall, well remembered the cele- 
brated M. de St. Evremond, "a little old man 
in his black silk coif," being carried every morning 
by her window in a sedan-chair to the house of the 
Duchess of Mazarin. He always took with him 
a pound of butter, made in his own little dairy, for 
her Grace's breakfast. The death of the duchess, 
in 1699, appears to have caused great distress to 
St. Evremond. In a letter to M. Silvester, he 
writes : " Had the poor Duchess of Mazarin been 
alive, she would have had peaches, of which I 

PALL MALL. 1 57 

should not have failed to have shared ; she would 
have had truffles, which we should have shared 
together ; not to mention the carps of Newhall." 

The extraordinary salutation with which the 
Duchess of Cleveland greeted William Wycherley, 
the poet, in Pall Mall, is well known. Wycherley, 
then perhaps the handsomest man of his day, had 
just risen into reputation by the success of his 
comedy, " Love in a Wood, or St. James's Park," 
which was first acted in 1672. He was passing 
along Pall Mall, when he encountered the equipage 
of the Duchess of Cleveland, to whom he was en- 
tirely unknown. To his astonishment, she thrust 
her head out of the carriage window, and ex- 
claimed : " You Wycherley, you are a son of 
a ." The poet was at first somewhat con- 
fused, but remembering the following stanza in 
a song introduced into his " Love in a Wood," 

" Where parents are slaves, 

Their brats cannot be any other ; 
Great wits and great braves, 

Have always a punk for their mother, " 

he considered it as a compliment to his wit, and 
immediately drove after her carriage into the park. 
The Duke of Buckingham, then master of the 
horse, and an unsuccessful lover of the duchess, 
threatened to inform the king of their intimacy, 
but shortly afterward, meeting Wycherley at the 
house of a mutual acquaintance, be became so de- 


lighted with his society that he appointed him one 
of his equerries and obtained for him the colonelcy 
of a regiment. The easy monarch also forgave 
him for interfering with his amours. He became 
fascinated with his wit, and when the poet was ill 
with a fever, he visited him at his lodgings, and 
defrayed the expenses of a journey which he per- 
suaded him to take to the Continent, for the recov- 
ery of his health. 

One would wish to be able to point out the 
house of the celebrated Beau Fielding, the " Or- 
lando the Fair" of The Tatler, in Pall Mall; 
one would like to visit the rooms which were the 
scene of his strange adventure, where the beauti- 
ful opera-singer, Marguarita, was sent for to sing 
the " lanthe the Lovely," and where he passed his 
wedding night with the fictitious widow of Wad- 
don Hall. In the romance of real life there is 
scarcely a story more amusing or more remark- 
able than that of Robert Fielding, the handsomest 
coxcomb of his day. Having ruined himself by 
the splendour of his equipages and his addiction 
to the gaming-table, he proposed to repair his 
broken fortunes by uniting himself to a wealthy 
wife. The lady on whom his choice fell was a 
rich widow, a Mrs. Deleau, with whom he had no 
previous acquaintance. Having taken the prelim- 
inary step of parading his handsome person before 
her windows, he contrived to make the acquaint- 
ance of a Mrs. Charlotte Villars, a woman of 



indifferent reputation, who assured him that she 
was on intimate terms with the widow, and who 
obtained from him a promise of ,500, in the 
event of Mrs. Deleau becoming his wife. 

Of this woman Fielding became the entire dupe. 
At length, having almost worn out his patience by 
promises of an interview which were never fulfilled, 
and his finances by several valuable presents of 
"gold aprons stuck with green," and other articles, 
which she pretended were delivered to the reluc- 
tant widow, she informed him that she had with 
difficulty induced Mrs. Deleau to grant him an 
interview at his apartments, and promised that in 
a few days she would bring them together. In the 
meantime she had secured the connivance of a 
young woman, one Mary Wadsworth, who is said 
to have somewhat resembled the widow in person, 
and whom she carefully instructed in the part 
which she was about to play. The easy manner 
in which a man of the town, like Fielding, was 
duped and mystified by these two women is not a 
little curious. The remainder of the scene is laid 
in Pall Mall. Mary Wadsworth, having consented 
to play the part of Mrs. Deleau, was conducted on 
a certain evening to Fielding's apartments, where 
he was anxiously expecting his intended bride. 
The scene which follows is taken from the evi- 
dence of the go-between, Mrs. Villars, as it appears 
in the " State Trials." " He desired," she says, 
"that I would bring her to his lodgings on Lord 


Mayor's day, at night, which I did about nine 
o'clock, in a mourning-coach. Mr. Fielding was 
not at home, but came immediately. When he 
came in, he fell upon his knees, and kissed her, 
and expressed abundance of fond expressions. He 
asked her why she stayed so long, and whether 
she loved singing? He said he would send for 
Marguarita to come up. When she came up, Mr. 
Fielding bade her sing the two songs he loved ; 
which she did : the one was Charming Creature/ 
and the other, ' lanthe the Lovely.' After which 
Mr. Fielding sent for two pints of wine, and some 
plum-cakes." The evidence of the beautiful Mar- 
guarita, 1 the prima donna of her day, is no less 
curious. "I remember," she says, "Mr. Fielding 
sent for me to his lodgings in Pall Mall. I sang 
several Italian songs and one English, and that 
was * lanthe the Lovely.' He desired me to sing 
that song, ' lanthe the Lovely,' for he said he had 
the original of it, and had translated it out of the 

The evidence of Mrs. Villars affords an extraor- 

1 The Marguarita is mentioned by Swift in a letter to Stella 
from Windsor, in 1711 : " We have a music-meeting in our town 
to-night. I went to the rehearsal of it, and there was Marguarita 
and her sister, and another drab, and a parcel of fiddlers ; I was 
weary, and would not go to the meeting, which I am sorry for, 
because I heard it was a great assembly." According to Mrs. 
Manley, the Earl of Nottingham purchased the favours of the 
Marguarita for ^4,000, and afterward bought her silence for a 
similar sum. 


dinary picture of a clandestine marriage at the 
commencement of the last century. " The priest," 
she says, "called for water, salt, and rosemary, to 
make holy water. Boucher (Fielding's man ser- 
vant) brought up water and salt, but could get no 
rosemary. Mr. Fielding and I received it at the 
dining-room door. Then Mr. Fielding locked the 
door, and took the key on the inside. Mr. Field- 
ing asked Mrs. Wadsworth whether it should be 
done in the bedchamber or dining-room ? Mrs. 
Wadsworth agreed it should be in the bedchamber. 
There were none present but Mr. Fielding, Mrs. 
Wadsworth, the priest, and myself. The priest 
made holy water, and blessed it. Then he set 
Mrs. Wadsworth at the right of Mr. Fielding. 
The priest stood before them, and read the cere- 
mony in Latin, as I understood ; and Mrs. Wads- 
worth said she was not yet satisfied he was a 
priest. Says Mr. Fielding to her, ' Do you think, 
my dear, that I would have anybody to do this 
business but the holy father ? ' Mrs. Wadsworth 
was well satisfied till he came to that part, * Wilt 
thou have this woman to thy wedded wife ? ' She 
desired it might be spoken in English by him. 
He did so. Mr. Fielding said, < Yes, with all my 
heart.' He asked the lady, then, if she would 
have this gentleman for her husband. She said 
'yes,' faintly. 'But,' says Mr. Fielding, 'you 
must speak it so earnestly as I do ; you must say 
with all my heart and soul ; ' which she did. Then 


the priest blessed the ring, and gave it to Mr. 
Fielding to put on the lady's finger. He said 
something in Latin, but what it was I know not. 
Then we went into the dining-room. Boucher 
brought up wine, and when all had drank, the 
priest was discharged." 

We will conclude these curious extracts with 
the evidence of Fielding's servant, Boucher. " My 
master," he says, " ordered me to be at home ajid 
get clean sheets, wax candles, and sconces ; and 
fires in both the rooms. He told me some ladies 
would be there that night, and ordered me, if he 
was not at home when they came, to tell them 
that he would be there presently. Accordingly 
they came, and he was not at home, but in a little 
time he came, and went up to them. Some lit- 
tle time after that, he came down-stairs, in great 
haste, and said, ' Boucher, go and speak a dish of 
pickles.' I did so, and brought over a cloth, and 
the rest of the things, and left them in the win- 
dow. I stayed by the stairs till he came back in 
a hackney-coach, with a priest along with him, 
in a long gown, and long beard, and a fur cap. 
I knew him to belong to the emperor's envoy. 
Then I was ordered to set the table, and glasses, 
and wine, and things of that kind upon the side- 
board. I waited at table all the while. When 
supper was over, Mr. Fielding ordered me to go 
down and fetch water, salt, and rosemary. I went 
and got water and salt, but could get no rosemary. 


Then I was ordered to go down, and they were 
locked in about three-quarters of an hour. When 
this was over, the priest went away. Presently 
after, says Mr. Fielding: 'Take the sheets from 
my bed, and lay them on the other bed for Mrs. 
Villars, and see that none lie there.' Mrs. Villars, 
in the meantime, put the lady to bed. When I 
came down to tell them of it, I saw the lady's 
clothes on a stool in the chamber, and Mrs. Villars 
folding them up and laying them in another room. 
I then lighted Mrs. Villars to bed, and then went 
to bed myself. In the morning I was called to 
make a fire. I then perceived this lady and Mr. 
Fielding in bed together. The fire being made, 
I was ordered to get a hackney-coach. Mrs. Villars 
dressed the lady hastily, and she was carried away 
in the hackney-coach." 

Fielding appears to have soon discovered the 
trick which was played upon him, for, little more 
than a fortnight afterward, he married the cele- 
brated Barbara Villiers, Duchess of Cleveland. 
About a year afterward, on the 4th of December, 
1706, he was tried for bigamy at the bar of the 
Old Bailey, and being found guilty, was sentenced 
to be burnt in the hand, but was afterward par- 
doned by Queen Anne. His marriage with the 
Duchess of Cleveland was formally annulled in 
the Arches Court on the 2$d of May, 1707. 

Schomberg House, Pall Mall, is still one of 
the most striking-looking objects in the street. 


It was built by the Duke of Schomberg in the 
reign of William the Third ; apparently by Charles, 
the second duke, the son of the celebrated Ger- 
man favourite of William, who fell at the battle 
of the Boyne at the age of eighty-one. Schom- 
berg House appears to have been subsequently 
the residence of the celebrated Duke of Cumber- 
land, the "Butcher" of Culloden. It was after- 
ward inhabited by Astley the painter, commonly 
called "Beau Astley," who divided it into three 
different residences, reserving the centre for him- 
self, which he fitted up in a very whimsical man- 
ner. Here subsequently resided Richard Cosway, 
the well-known miniature painter, and here, after 
he had outlived his ninetieth year, and had retired 
from a profession which he had so much honoured, 
"he used," we are told, "to hold up his palsied 
right hand, that had painted lords and ladies for 
upwards of sixty years, and smile with unabated 
good-humour at the vanity of human wishes." 
In Schomberg House lived the celebrated painter, 
Gainsborough ; here the once well-known Robert 
Bowyer formed his gallery of paintings and en- 
gravings, and here the eccentric Doctor Graham 
resided and gave his lectures. 

The following curious notice of Pall Mall, in 
1703, is from the pen of Defoe : "I am lodged in 
the street called Pall Mall, the ordinary residence 
of all strangers, because of its vicinity to the 
queen's palace, the park, the Parliament house, 


the theatres, and the chocolate and coffee houses, 
where the best company frequent. If you would 
know our manner of living, 'tis thus : we rise by 
nine, and those that frequent great men's levees 
find entertainment at them till eleven, or, as at 
Holland, go to tea-tables. About twelve, the beau 
monde assembles in several coffee or chocolate 
houses ; the best of which are the Cocoa Tree 
and White's chocolate-houses, St. James's, the 
Smyrna, Mrs. Rochford's, and the British coffee- 
houses ; and all these so near one another, that in 
less than an hour you see the company of them 
all. We are carried to these places in sedan-chairs, 
which are here very cheap, a guinea a week or a 
shilling per hour ; and your chairmen serve you 
for porters to run on errands, as your gondoliers 
do at Venice." 

The sign of the Star and Garter, immediately 
opposite Schomberg House, still points out the 
site of the fashionable tavern which bore the same 
name in the days of Queen Anne. It was here 
that the celebrated club occasionally assembled, of 
which Swift was a member, and which consisted 
of the most eminent men of rank and genius in 
that remarkable period. Swift writes to Stella, on 
the 2Oth of March, 1711-12: "I made our society 
change their house, and we met together at the 
Star and Garter in the Pall Mall ; Lord Arran 
was president. The other dog was so extravagant 
in his bills, that for four dishes and four, first and 


second course, without wine or dessert, he charged 
twenty-one pounds six shillings and eightpence to 
the Duke of Ormond." This sum is not a little 
exorbitant, if we remember that Swift mentions a 
party of nine as constituting a large meeting at 
the club, and especially when we consider the dif- 
ference of prices between the early period of the 
last century and the present day. In 1763 we 
find a club still held at the Star and Garter, con- 
sisting of George Selwyn, Gilly Williams, and 
other men of wit and fashion of the last century. 

At the Star and Garter took place the famous 
duel between Lord Byron and Mr. Chaworth, on 
the 26th of January, 1765. Horace Walpole writes 
to the Earl of Hertford the next day : " The fol- 
lowing is the account nearest the truth that I can 
learn of the fatal duel last night. A club of 
Nottinghamshire gentlemen had dined at the Star 
and Garter, and there had been a dispute between 
the combatants whether Lord Byron, who took no 
care of his game, or Mr. Chaworth, who was active 
in the association, had most game on their manor. 
The company, however, had apprehended no con- 
sequences, and parted at eight o'clock ; but Lord 
Byron, stepping into an empty chamber, and send- 
ing the drawer for Mr. Chaworth, or calling him 
thither himself, took the candle from the waiter, 
and, bidding Mr. Chaworth defend himself, drew 
his sword. Mr. Chaworth, who was an excellent 
fencer, ran Lord Byron through the sleeve of his 


coat, and then received a wound fourteen inches 
deep into his body. He was carried to his house 
in Berkeley Street, made his will with the greatest 
composure, and dictated a paper which, they say, 
allows it was a fair duel, and died at nine this 
morning." The duel seems to have produced a 
long feud between the neighbouring families of 
Byron and Chaworth, nor was it apparently till 
the great poet succeeded his granduncle as the 
lord of Newstead Abbey, that a Byron was again 
received as a cherished guest at Annesley Hall. 
The romantic love of Lord Byron for the heiress 
of the Cha worths is well known, and the feud 
which had divided the families is more than once 
referred to in his writings. In " The Dream," the 
most pathetic and one of the most beautiful of his 
compositions, he says of his first love : 

" Her sighs were not for him ; to her he was 
Even as a brother but no more ; 'twas much, 
For brotherless she was, save in the name 
Her infant friendship had bestowed on him ; 
Herself the solitary scion left 
Of a time-honoured race. It was a name 
Which pleased him, and yet pleased him not and 

Time taught him a deep answer." 

And he says in prose, scarcely less beautiful : 
"Our union would have healed feuds in which 
blood had been shed by our fathers ; it would 
have joined lands broad and rich ; it would have 


joined at least one heart and two persons not ill- 
matched in years, and and and what has 
been the result ? " 

In Pall Mall stood the Smyrna Coffee-house, a 
fashionable resort of the wits of the reign of Queen 
Anne, but the site we are unable to point out. 

The only other house in Pall Mall of any inter- 
est which still remains, is the residence of the Duke 
of Buckingham, in which so often assembled the 
wit, the rank, the beauty, and the talent of a past 
age. It was here that an event occurred, which, 
though consisting merely of a private and disrepu- 
table quarrel, Horace Walpole thought proper to 
record in his " Correspondence," and Sir Nathaniel 
Wraxall in his " Memoirs." The hero was George, 1 
eldest son of the celebrated John, Lord Hervey, 
the effeminate son of an effeminate father. Horace 
Walpole writes to Sir Horace Mann on the 2 5th 
of February, 1750: "About ten days ago, at the 
new Lady Cobham's assembly, as Lord Hervey 
was leaning over a chair, talking to some women, 
and holding his hat in his hand, Lord Cobham 
came up and spit in it yes, spit in it! and 
then, with a loud laugh, turned to Nugent, and 
said, ' Pay me my wager.' In short, he had laid 
a wager that he committed this absurd brutality, 
and that it was not resented. Lord Hervey, with 

1 He afterward succeeded as second Earl of Bristol ; was 
ambassador to Spain in 1758, and Lord Lieutenant of Ireland in 
1766. He died unmarried in 1775. 

PALL MALL. 169. 

great temper and sensibility, asked if he had any 
further occasion for his hat ? ' Oh ! I see you 
are angry ! ' ' Not very well pleased.' Lord Cob- 
ham took the fatal hat and wiped it, made a thou- 
sand foolish apologies, and wanted to pass it for a 
joke. Next morning he rose with the sun, and 
went to visit Lord Hervey; so did Nugent. He 
would not see them, but wrote to the spitter (or, 
as he is now called, Lord Gob'-em), to say that 
he had affronted him very grossly before com- 
pany, but having involved Nugent in it, he desired 
to know to which he was to address himself for 
satisfaction. Lord Cobham wrote him a most sub- 
missive answer, and begged pardon both in his 
own and Nugent' s name. Here it rested for a 
few days, till, getting wind, Lord Hervey wrote 
again to insist on an explicit apology under Lord 
Cobham's own hand, with a rehearsal of the ex- 
cuses that had been made to him. This, too, was 
complied with, and the fair conqueror shows all 
the letters." 

But Pall Mall is associated with brighter names 
than any we have yet recorded. Swift had lodg- 
ings here in 1710; here Lord Bolingbroke had a 
house after his return from exile, and here he 
renewed his intrigues against his old enemy, Sir 
Robert Walpole. Gay, the poet, writes to Swift on 
the 22d October, 1726, "I hear that Lord Boling- 
broke will be in town, at his house in Pall Mall, 
next week," and about a fortnight afterward we 


find Pope, Gay, and Arbuthnot assembled together 
at the table of the noble philosopher. Pall Mall 
also is associated with another illustrious name, 
that of Addison, who, in the reign of Queen Anne, 
appears to have been a frequenter of the then 
fashionable tavern, the "George," in this street. 
In a letter, dated 2Qth February, 1708, we find 
him inviting Swift to dine with him here at two 
o'clock in the afternoon, and he mentions that Sir 
Robert Steele is to be one of the party. In 1772 
Gibbon dates his letters from Pall Mall. 

Two other literary names, though of less inter- 
est, are associated with Pall Mall. The one is 
Robert Dodsley, the footman, the poet, the drama- 
tist, and the publisher, who opened a bookseller's 
shop here in 1735, which was the lounging-place 
of Pope, Young, Akenside, Gray, Joseph and 
Thomas Warton, Horace Walpole, and Burke. 
The other is the unfortunate Letitia Pilkington, 
the authoress of the well-known autobiography, 
who in her girlhood had been the sprightly favour- 
ite of Swift, and whose indiscretions appear to 
have been at least equal to her wit. With a capi- 
tal, it is said, of only five guineas, she opened a 
small shop in Pall Mall for the sale of pamphlets. 
Distress conducted her to the Marshalsea prison, 
and an addiction to spirituous liquors, contracted 
by her in her days of penury and misfortune, 
brought her to an untimely grave. She died at 
Dublin in 1750, in her thirty-eighth year. 

Carlton House. 

Photo-etching from an old engraving. 

iry and misf< 

PALL MALL. 17 1 

Carlton House, with its beautiful and seques- 
tered pleasure-grounds, has passed away in the 
present century, and the buildings known as Carl- 
ton Gardens alone point out the site. Carlton 
House was purchased of the Earl of Burlington, by 
Frederick, Prince of Wales, in 1732, and was the 
occasional residence of that prince. It was here 
that, in 1751, he contracted the illness which was 
the immediate cause of his death. He had been 
unwell for some time with a pleurisy, but a few 
days before his end was sufficiently recovered to 
be able to attend the king to the House of Lords. 
On his return, though much heated, he was im- 
prudent enough to change his clothes for a light, 
unaired dress, in which, on a very inclement day, 
he travelled to Kew. In the evening he returned 
to Carlton House, and, being extremely fatigued, 
lay down for three hours in a very cold room, that 
opened on the ground floor into the garden. Lord 
Egmont remonstrated with him that it was a very 
dangerous indulgence, but to no purpose. The 
consequence was a fresh cold, and this produced a 
return of the illness, which proved fatal to him. 

After the death of Frederick, Carlton House 
became the residence of his widow, Augusta of 
Saxe-Gotha, mother of George the Third, and the 
scene in which she carried on her amatory inti- 
macy with the celebrated minister, Lord Bute. 
" It cannot be denied," says Wraxall, " that Lord 
Bute enjoyed a higher place in the favour of the 


princess, if not in her affections, than seemed 
compatible with strict propriety. His visits to 
Carlton House (which were always performed in 
the evening), and the precautions taken to conceal 
his arrival, awakened suspicion. He commonly 
made use on those occasions of the chair and the 
chairmen of Miss Vansittart, a lady who held a 
distinguished place in her Royal Highness's notice ; 
the curtains of the chair were also drawn." Hor- 
ace Walpole observes : " I am as much convinced 
of an amorous connection between Lord Bute 
and the princess as if I had seen them together." 

Carlton House subsequently became the resi- 
dence of George the Fourth when Prince of 
Wales, and, during his regency, it was in its gor- 
geous saloons that the royal voluptuary held his 
gay revels. The pillars which formed the portico 
of Carlton House are now attached to the centre 
of that national disgrace, the National Gallery, in 
Trafalgar Square. 

We are enabled to record a few more names of 
interest in connection with Pall Mall. In 1733 we 
find the unfortunate Charles Ratcliffe, brother 
of the young Earl of Der went water, who was exe- 
cuted in 1716, residing at a Mr. John's in Pall 
Mall. He had with difficulty contrived to effect 
his escape from the Tower in 1716, and, after 
residing for some time on the Continent, returned 
to London, where he was allowed to remain unmo- 
lested. In 1745 he prepared once more to take 



up arms in the cause of the Stuarts, but, being 
captured at sea on board a French vessel laden 
with ammunition, he was carried to Newgate, and 
subsequently beheaded on Tower Hill, on the 8th 
of December, 1746. 

It is to Pall Mall that Fielding conducts Tom 
Jones and Nightingale, when they are compelled 
to quit Mrs. Miller's lodgings in Bond Street. 
Here also resided the celebrated Bubb Doddington, 
and we can almost fancy him on his way to his fan- 
tastic villa at Hammersmith, in his roomy coach, 
which had probably been his ambassadorial equi- 
page at Madrid, drawn, we are told, " by six fat 
unwieldy black horses, short-docked, and of colossal 
dignity." Lastly, in Pall Mall the charming actress, 
Mrs. Abingdon, passed the last years of her life. 


Site of St. James's Palace Erected by Henry the Eighth 
The Residence of Queen Mary, Henry, Prince of Wales, 
Charles the First, Mary de Medicis, Charles the Second, 
James the Second, William the Third, George the First, 
George the Second, and Daughter. 

ST. JAMES'S PALACE stands on the site of a 
hospital, founded before the Norman Conquest, 
for the reception of " fourteen sisters, maidens, 
that were leprous, living chastely and honestly," 
to whom five brethren were afterward added, for 
the purpose of performing divine service. In 1532, 
Henry the Eighth, having taken a fancy to the 
site, from its vicinity to the palace of Whitehall, 
gave, in exchange for the "hospital and fields," 
Chattisham and other lands in Suffolk ; and at 
the same time settled pensions on the sisterhood, 
whom he sent forth into the world to seek an 
asylum elsewhere. " I find," writes Lord Herbert 
of Cherbury, " that our king, having got York 
House, now Whitehall, upon the cardinal's con- 
viction in a prcemunire, did newly enlarge and 
beautify it, buying also the hospital and fields of 
St. James's, and building the palace there. For 


which purpose, he compounded with the sisters of 
the house for a pension during their lives." In 
the words of Stow, it was a " goodly manor ; " and 
Holinshed informs us that the king converted it 
into a " fair mansion and park." Henry com- 
menced building the palace in the same year in 
which he married Anne Boleyn, and it seems not 
improbable that he intended it to be the residence 
of his beautiful consort. On each side of the prin- 
cipal entrance to the palace, facing St. James's 
Street, may still be seen a small arched doorway, 
each of which is ornamented by the " love-knot " 
of Henry the Eighth and the ill-fated Anne Boleyn. 
In 1559, Queen Mary familiar to us from our 
childhood as " Bloody Mary " breathed her last 
in the palace erected by her father. " "Tis said," 
writes Bishop Godwin, in his life of Queen Mary, 
" that in the beginning of her sickness, her friends, 
supposing King Philip's absence afflicted her, en- 
deavoured by all means to divert her melancholy. 
But all proved in vain ; and the queen abandoning 
herself to despair, told them 'she should die, 
though they were yet strangers to the cause of 
her death ; but if they would know it hereafter, 
they must dissect her, and they would find Calais 
at her heart ; ' intimating that the loss of that 
place was her death's wound. The death of her 
father-in-law, Charles the Fifth of Spain, was like- 
wise thought to have considerably augmented her 
sorrow ; so that these things probably hastened 


her end, and threw her by degrees into a dropsy, 
which the physicians at first mistook, believing 
her with child." 

The circumstance which, far more than the ab- 
sence of her husband, or the death of Charles the 
Fifth, appears to have affected the mind of the 
dying queen, was one to which Bishop Godwin 
obscurely alludes, namely, the disappointment of 
finding herself affected with a dropsical disorder, 
when she had fondly hoped that the alteration in 
her personal appearance gave a promise of her 
producing an heir to the throne. There are ex- 
tant, in the State Paper Office, copies of a very 
curious circular letter, in which the words " son," 
or " daughter," are left blank, which were intended 
to be filled up and transmitted to the different 
European courts, immediately after the queen's 
accouchement. From St. James's, the body of the 
deceased queen was carried in great state to West- 
minster Abbey. " Her funeral," says Bishop Ken- 
nett, "was celebrated on the I3th and I4th of 
December, with a pomp suitable to her quality. 
Her body was brought from St. James's, where 
she died, in a splendid chariot, with attendants 
and ceremony usual on such occasions ; and so by 
Charing Cross to Westminster Abbey. It was 
met at the church door with four bishops, and the 
lord abbot mitred. Her body being brought into 
the church, lay all night under the hearse with 
watch. On the next day, December I4th, was 


the queen's mass, and White, Bishop of Winches- 
ter, made her funeral sermon." 

We have no record of either Queen Elizabeth 
or James the First having kept their court at St. 
James's. During the reign of the latter sovereign, 
it was set apart as the residence of the gifted, the 
witty, the virtuous, and precocious Henry, Prince 
of Wales, the Marcellus of his age, who kept 
his court here with considerable magnificence dur- 
ing the lifetime of his father. It was a court com- 
prised of beauty and chivalry and genius, where 
the young were the most welcome, but where 
literary acquirements were still more distinguished 
than personal gallantry, and where virtue was of 
far more consideration than beauty. The daily 
path of the author has been for many years through 
the silent courts of St. James's Palace, and seldom 
has he wandered through them without peopling 
them in imagination with the splendid but soberly 
retainers of the chivalrous young prince, and im- 
agining that in such or such a part of the palace 
he passed the night in study and contemplation, 
or that in such a chamber he breathed his last. 
Here he constantly entertained the young, the 
gallant, and the beautiful of both sexes ; retaining 
about his person a number of young gentlemen, 
whose spirit of chivalry and literary tastes as- 
similated with his own. We are informed by his 
faithful follower, Sir Charles Cornwallis, that though 
the most beautiful women of the court and city 


were invited to his entertainments, yet that he 
could never discover the slightest inclination on 
the prince's part to any particular beauty. A great 
proof of the prince's popularity is the manner in 
which his court at St. James's was attended, the 
attendance at his levees being much more numer- 
ous than at that of the king himself. So jealous 
was James at this circumstance, that he once made 
use of the remarkable words, " Will he bury me 
alive ? " Though pleasure was not excluded, his 
establishment was governed with discretion, mod- 
esty, and sobriety, and with an especial reverence 
for religious duties. 

It may here be observed that, in 1610, his house- 
hold amounted to no less than four hundred and 
twenty-six persons, of whom two hundred and 
ninety-seven were in the receipt of regular salaries. 
The death of this promising and accomplished 
young prince took place in St. James's Palace on 
the 6th of November, 1612, after a long illness 
which he bore with exemplary piety and resigna- 
tion. " On Sunday, the 25th of October," we 
are told, "he heard a sermon, the text in Job, 
'Man that is born of woman is of short continu- 
ance, and is full of trouble.' After that he pres- 
ently went to Whitehall, and heard another sermon 
before the king, and after dinner, being ill, craved 
leave to retire to his own court, where instantly 
he fell into sudden sickness, faintings, and after 
that a shaking, with great heat and headache, that 


left him not whilst he had life." The Archbishop 
of Canterbury and the Dean of Rochester remained 
by his bedside, and prayed with him during his 
illness. Cornwallis says: " He bore his sickness 
with patience, and as often recognition of his faith, 
his hopes, and his appeals to God's mercy, as his 
infirmity, which afflicted him altogether in his head, 
would possibly permit." Prince Henry when he 
died was only in his nineteenth year. 

When Charles the First, on the death of his 
brother, became Prince of Wales, he occasionally 
resided at St. James's, and here, with the assist- 
ance of Sir Kenelm Digby, he formed his fine 
collection of statues, which was dispersed during 
the civil troubles. After his accession to the 
throne, we find no occasion of his keeping his 
court here ; though it is remarkable that his beau- 
tiful consort, Henrietta Maria, selected it, on every 
practicable occasion, in preference to Whitehall, 
as the place of her confinement. Her first-born, 
indeed, who died an infant, was born at the palace 
of Greenwich, and the apartment is said still to 
exist in what is now the school attached to the 
hospital. Her second and third sons, however, 
Charles and James, successively Kings of Eng- 
land, were both born at St. James's ; and here, 
also, Henrietta was confined with her second 
daughter, Elizabeth, that interesting child, the 
darling of her ill-fated father, over whom Charles 
wept his last tear in their interview in St. James's 


Palace the day previous to his execution. Having 
communicated to her his last injunctions, " Sweet- 
heart," he said, "you will forget this." "No," she 
replied, " I shall never forget it while I live ; " 
and with many tears promised to write down the 
particulars, a promise which she faithfully kept, 
as is proved by the interesting account which the 
royal child drew up of her last interview with her 
father, which is still extant. 

When, in 1638, the intrigues of Cardinal Riche- 
lieu drove Mary de Medicis from the court of her 
son, Louis the Thirteenth, and when France no 
longer afforded a safe asylum to the widow of 
Henry the Fourth, her daughter Henrietta invited 
her to England, and St. James's Palace was fixed 
upon as the place of her residence. The spirit of 
puritanism was then alive, and the arrival of a 
popish and unfriended princess in the metropolis 
not only aroused the fury of the bigoted populace, 
but it was with the greatest difficulty that the 
military could be induced to interfere in protect- 
ing her from their insolence and violence. Before 
the equipage of the exiled queen entered the gates 
of St. James's Palace, three persons were actually 
killed in the riots. Waller, on the occasion of 
her arrival in England, complimented the unfor- 
tunate queen with a poetical address, in which 
affectation of learning, false wit, and strained 
compliments constitute the principal ingredients. 
Fenton tells us in his notes to that poet, that 


at length the queen was lodged safe in St. 
James's Palace, where, for about three years, she 
enjoyed a pension of three thousand pounds a 
month ! " Her continued residence in England 
was highly displeasing to the Parliament, who 
petitioned the king to remove her out of the 
kingdom ; at the same time softening their un- 
gracious and inhospitable appeal by making her a 
present of ten thousand pounds to make provision 
for her journey. 

The principal interest which attaches to St. 
James's Palace is unquestionably from Charles the 
First having passed the last days of his life a 
prisoner in its gloomy apartments ; from its hav- 
ing been the scene of the insults which he met 
with from the brutal republican soldiery ; from its 
having been the scene of his last affecting inter- 
view with his beloved children, and from his hav- 
ing passed forth from its garden entrance into the 
park on the morning that he was led to execution 
at Whitehall. 

A few days before his memorable trial in West- 
minster Hall, Charles was brought from Windsor 
to St. James's in a coach surrounded by a strong 
guard of military, the insolent fanatical preacher, 
Hugh Peters, riding in triumph in front of the 
cavalcade. The king's affectionate follower, Her- 
bert, informs us that the apartments intended for 
the reception of the royal martyr were hastily fur- 
nished by his servant, Mr. Kinnersley of the 


Wardrobe. " On his arrival at St. James's the 
first act of the unfortunate king was to retire 
to his own chamber, where he continued for some 
time in prayer, and in the perusal of the Bible. 
For about a fortnight he was treated with some 
regard to his exalted rank, though with little 
respect to his private feelings. Although the 
principal nobility, his favourite servants, and his 
domestic chaplains were excluded from his soci- 
ety, he was still attended with some degree of 
former state. He dined publicly in the presence- 
chamber ; the gentlemen of his household waited 
on him at his meals, and the cup as usual was 
presented to him on the knee. Nevertheless, the 
strictest guard was placed over his person, and 
only one of his followers, the affectionate Herbert, 
was permitted to attend him in his bedchamber. 
But even this mockery of respect was continued 
but for a few days. It was decreed, at one of the 
councils of the army, that henceforward all state 
ceremony should be dispensed with, and that the 
number of his domestics, and even the dishes 
supplied to his table, should be diminished. When 
this unfeeling and parsimonious curtailment and 
the absence of many familiar faces were remarked 
by Charles, and when his restricted meal was 
brought into the presence-chamber at St. James's 
by common soldiers, 'There is nothing,' he 
remarked, 'more contemptible than a despised 
prince.' " From this time he caused his food 


to be conveyed into his own chamber, where he 
partook of his meals in private. 

To decapitate a monarch or to hang a dema- 
gogue, once or twice a century, may perhaps be for 
the general advantage of mankind ; but whether 
the beheading of Charles the First was a pious or 
a parricidal act, whether it was a brutal murder 
or a fine stroke of policy, we are not here called 
upon to decide. There can be no question, how- 
ever, that the republicans ought to have had some 
feeling for the sufferings of a fallen and oppressed 
but once powerful monarch. Lord Clarendon, in 
one of the suppressed passages of his history of 
the rebellion, gives a heart-stirring account of the 
king's sufferings at the period he was a prisoner in 
St. James's Palace. A guard of soldiers, he says, 
was forced upon the unfortunate king, night as 
well as day, even in his bedchamber, where they 
smoked and drank as if they had been among their 
own comrades in the guard-room. The king, it is 
added, was confined entirely to his sleeping apart- 
ment, where he was compelled to perform his 
devotions, and whatever nature requires, in the 
presence of his rude jailers. 

On the I Qth of January, 1649, the day previous 
to his trial, Charles was conveyed in a sedan-chair 
from St. James's Palace, through the park, to his 
usual bedchamber at Whitehall, where he passed 
the night of each succeeding day of his trial, till 
the 24th, when, after his condemnation, he was 


reconducted to his sleeping apartment at St. 
James's, where he passed the three remaining 
days of his life. On the day previous to his exe- 
cution took place the famous and affecting inter- 
view between Charles and his young children, the 
Princess Elizabeth and the Duke of Gloucester, 
the particulars of which are too well known to 
require recapitulation. He watched their depart- 
ure with a father's grief, and as the door of his 
apartment was about to close them for ever from 
his sight, he moved hastily toward them from the 
window where he was standing, and, folding them 
passionately in his arms, again kissed and blessed 
them, and bade them farewell for ever. The re- 
mainder of the day was passed by him in prayer 
and meditation ; at night he slept calmly, desiring 
the faithful Herbert to place his pallet-bed on the 
floor by the side of his own, and the following 
morning he proceeded from the palace to the scaf- 
fold as calmly as if he had been walking in a trium- 
phal procession. 

Shortly after the death of Charles, the gay and 
gallant courtier, Henry Rich, Earl of Holland, the 
presumed lover of Henrietta Maria, was sent a 
prisoner to St. James's Palace. It was from hence 
that he was carried to the place of his execution 
in front of the entrance to Westminster Hall, 
where he was beheaded on the Qth of March, 1649, 
less than six weeks after the death of his royal 
master. His fellow prisoners were the Duke of 


Hamilton, the attached friend of Charles the First, 
and the brave and noble-minded Lord Capel. All 
three suffered on the same scaffold. 

Charles the Second was born at St. James's on 
the 29th of May, 1630, and on the 2d of July fol- 
lowing was christened in the Chapel Royal of the 
palace with all due solemnity. "The gossips," 
we are told, " were the French king, the palsgrave, 
and the Queen-mother of France; the deputies, 
the Duke of Lennox, Marquis Hamilton, and the 
Duchess of Richmond, which last was exceedingly 
bountiful. The ordnance and chambers at the 
Tower were discharged ; the bells did ring ; and 
at night were in the streets plenty of flaming bon- 
fires. The duchess was sent for by two lords, 
divers knights and gentlemen, six footmen, and a 
coach with six horses plumed, all the queen's ; and 
alighted, not without the gate, but within the 
court. 1 Her retinue were six women, and gentle- 
women I know not how many ; but all, of both 
sexes, were clad in white satin, garnished with 
crimson, and crimson silk stockings." 

We have no record of Charles the Second hav- 

1 To the present day, the gates leading into the inner courts 
at Hampton Court are never opened, except on very rare occa- 
sions, but to the royal family. After the same fashion, the 
principal entrance to that interesting mansion, Ham House, 
once the residence of our princes, is never opened but to royalty ; 
and when the author, a few years since, visited the spot, the 
only ingress was by a miserable doorway leading through the 
offices to the principal apartments. 


ing ever kept his court at St. James's. During 
his reign it was set apart as the residence of 
his brother, the Duke of York; but latterly we 
find the beautiful mistress of Charles, Hortense 
Mancini, Duchess of Mazarin, the formidable 
rival of the Duchess of Portsmouth, residing 
within its walls. Captivated by her wit and 
beauty, Charles allowed her to occupy apartments 
in the palace, and conferred on her a pension of 
.4,000 a year. Waller, though in his seventy- 
first year, celebrated in verse the arrival of the 
noble courtesan at St. James's with the same zeal 
and gallantry with which, forty years previously, 
he had celebrated the welcome of Mary de Medicis 
to the same apartments : 

" When through the world fair Mazarin had run, 
Bright as her fellow traveller, the sun ; 
Hither at length the Roman eagle flies, 
As the last triumph of her conquering eyes." 

Like his brother Charles, James the Second 
gave the preference to Whitehall as a courtly res- 
idence, and during his reign St. James's Palace 
was comparatively deserted. The old building is 
nevertheless intimately connected with the earlier 
history of the bigoted monarch. Here he was 
born, on the I5th of October, 1633, and was im- 
mediately proclaimed Duke of York at the palace 
gates, though the title was not formally conferred 
on him by patent till the 2/th of January, 1643. 
Here he was christened by the Archbishop of 


Canterbury nine days after his birth; and here 
his infancy passed with his younger brother, the 
Duke of Gloucester, and his interesting sister, the 
Princess Elizabeth, till 1641, when, in consequence 
of the civil troubles breaking out, his unfortunate 
father sent for him to attend him at York. 

At the surrender of Oxford to the Parliamen- 
tary forces, in 1646, James fell into the hands of 
Fairfax, and was shortly afterward, with the Duke 
of Gloucester and the Princess Elizabeth, sent 
back to his old quarters in St. James's Palace. 
The story of his romantic escape is well known, 
and the manner in which he effected it does great 
credit to the ingenuity and presence of mind of 
one so young, for he had not yet completed his 
fifteenth year. Having, on two previous occasions, 
been discovered in attempts to effect his escape, 
he had ever since been watched with the closest 
care, which of course rendered the third essay the 
more hazardous. The principal persons in his 
secret were Colonel Bamfield and a Mr. George 
Howard, by whom the necessary preparations were 
made for his flight. "All things," we are told, 
"being in readiness, the duke went to supper at 
his usual hour, which was about seven, in the 
company of his brother and sister, and when sup- 
per was ended they went to play at hide and seek 
with the rest of the young people in the house. 
At this childish sport the duke had accustomed 
himself to play for a fortnight together every night, 


and had used to hide himself in places so difficult 
to find that most commonly they were half an 
hour in searching for him, at the end of which 
time he came usually out to them of his own 
accord. This blind he laid for his design that 
they might be accustomed to miss him, before he 
really intended his escape ; by which means, when 
he came to practise it in earnest, he was secure of 
gaining that half-hour before they could reasonably 
suspect he was gone. 

" His intention had all the effect he could desire ; 
for that night, as soon as they began their play, he 
pretended, according to his custom, to hide him- 
self. But instead of so doing, he went first into 
his sister's chamber and there locked up a little 
dog that used to follow him, that he might not be 
discovered by him ; then, slipping down a pair of 
back stairs, which led into the inmost garden, 
having found means beforehand to furnish himself 
with a key of a back door from the said garden 
into the park, he there found Bamfield, who was 
ready to receive him, and waited there with a foot- 
man, who brought a cloak, which he threw over 
him, and put on a periwig. From thence they 
went through the Spring Garden, where one Mr. 
Tripp was ready with a hackney-coach, which 
carried them to Salisbury House." Pretending 
that they had business here, the fugitives alighted 
from the coach, but no sooner was the driver out 
of sight than they proceeded on foot down Ivy 


Lane to the river's side, where they hired a boat, 
and landed on the south side of London Bridge. 
From hence they hastened to the house of one 
Loe, a surgeon, where a Mrs. Murray was expecting 
them with a suit of female apparel, in which she 
rapidly attired the duke. Bamfield had hired a 
large row-barge with a cabin in it, in which they 
proposed to proceed down the river, below Graves- 
end, where a Dutch vessel was in readiness to sail 
with them at a moment's notice. An accident, 
however, occurred, which very nearly frustrated 
their plans. The owner of the barge taking it 
into his head that the duke was some disguised 
person of high rank, peeped through a cranny in 
the cabin-door, where he perceived the young 
prince with his leg on the table, tying his garters 
in so unfeminine a manner that his suspicions 
were completely aroused. Bamfield, subsequently 
discovering by the change in the man's manner, 
and the disinclination which he expressed to pro- 
ceed farther than Gravesend, that he was aware of 
at least a part of their secret, contrived to pur- 
chase his silence by a considerable sum of money. 
Accordingly, on approaching Gravesend, they ex- 
tinguished their lights, and, lest the sound of the 
oars might discover them, floated past the town 
with the tide. They were fortunate enough to fall 
in with the vessel which was expecting them, and, 
after a prosperous voyage, arrived in safety at 
Middleburg in Holland. 


After the Restoration, James kept his court at 
St. James's, and here several of his children were 
born. Here, also, his first wife, Anne Hyde, 
breathed her last, under circumstances which, 
when they became known, excited an extraordinary 
sensation. It had sometimes been whispered that 
she had forsaken the Protestant faith, but it was 
not till she was on her death-bed that she expressed 
herself " convinced and reconciled " to the Church 
of Rome, and received the sacraments of that faith. 
Of her two brothers, the Earl of Rochester and 
Lord Cornbury, the former expressed his disbelief 
in her apostasy, and visited her in her last moments, 
but the latter, a zealous Protestant, absented him- 
self altogether from her sick-chamber. Shortly 
before she breathed her last, she requested the 
duke, her husband, not to stir from her bedside 
till life had departed ; at the same time enjoining 
him should any Protestant bishops attempt to enter 
her apartment, to explain to them that she died 
immovably fixed in the Roman Catholic faith, and 
consequently that it would be useless to weary her 
with controversial discussions. Some time after- 
ward, Doctor Blandford, Bishop of Worcester, came 
to St. James's to pay her a visit. He was previ- 
ously received in the drawing-room by the duke, 
who acquainted him with the state of her mind, 
and her earnest wish not to be disturbed in her 
last moments. On subsequently being ushered 
into her apartment, he found the queen of Charles 


the Second, Catherine of Braganza, seated by the 
bedside of the expiring duchess. " Blandford," 
says Burnet, " was so modest and humble that he 
had not presence of mind enough to begin prayers, 
which probably would have driven the queen out 
of the room ; but that not being done, she pre- 
tended kindness, and would not leave her. He 
happened to say, ' I hope you continue still in the 
truth ; upon which she asked, < What is truth ? ' 
And then her agony increasing, she repeated the 
word, < Truth, truth, truth,' often." A few min- 
utes afterward she expired. Her death took place 
on the 3 ist of March, 1671, at the age of thirty- 

James, after the death of his first wife, appears 
to have occasionally resided at St. James's with 
his. second duchess, the young and interesting Mary 
of Modena ; and here, after his accession to the 
throne on the loth of June, 1688, occurred that 
memorable event, the birth of James Edward, after- 
ward called the " Old Pretender." The apartment 
in which this unfortunate prince first saw the light, 
and which was the scene of the celebrated warm- 
ing-pan story, is minutely described by Pennant. 
It is needless to remind the reader that the fact of 
the queen's pregnancy was openly called in ques- 
tion by the king's enemies, and that it was insisted 
that, in order to rear up a popish heir to the throne, 
James had caused the new-born infant of some 
other woman to be introduced into the queen's bed 


in a warming-pan. "The young prince," says 
Pennant, " was born in the room now called the old 
bedchamber, at present the antechamber to the 
levee-room. The bed stood close to the door of a 
back stairs, which descended to an inner court. 
It certainly was very convenient to carry on any 
secret design, and might favour the silly warming- 
pan story, were not the bed surrounded by twenty of 
the Privy Council, four other men of rank, twenty 
ladies, besides pages and other attendants." 

Although William the Third never held his 
court for any length of time at St. James's, the 
old palace is nevertheless intimately associated 
with his history and with that of his queen. 
Mary was born here on the 3Oth of April, 1662 ; 
and here she was married to her Dutch consort at 
eleven o'clock at night, on the 4th of November, 
1677, Charles the Second giving the bride away, 
and the Duke and Duchess of York and a large 
assemblage of the courtiers and nobility being 

After his successful invasion of England, in 
1688, St. James's was the place where William 
took up his abode immediately on his arrival in 
London ; and here he continued to reside till the 
nation decided on elevating him to the throne. 
His court at St. James's at this period must have 
been sufficiently gloomy. He seems to have sel- 
dom quitted the walls of the palace ; indeed, Bur- 
net tells us "his stay so long at St. James's, 


without exercise or hunting (which was so much 
used by him that it was become necessary), had 
brought him under such a weakness that it was 
likely to have very ill effects." Carte, the histo- 
rian, was assured, in 1724, by a Mr. Dillon, that 
the latter in his youth had frequently attended at 
St. James's, when the king dined in public, and 
that on no single occasion had he known an Eng- 
lish nobleman to be invited to the royal table. 
He added, on the other hand, that the Duke of 
Schomberg, and others of the Dutch general 
officers, were frequently the king's guests ; on 
which occasions Schomberg invariably sat at the 
king's right hand. During these state repasts, 
while the Dutch officers were feasting with their 
stadtholder, the English nobility, who were in the 
royal household, were compelled to stand, as state 
menials, behind the king's chair. Dillon further 
added that, on the several occasions of his being 
present when the king dined in public at St. 
James's, he never remembered to have heard him 
utter a word. He once asked Keppel whether his 
master was always so silent ; to which the other 
replied that the king talked enough at night, when 
seated over a bottle of wine with his friends. 

Queen Anne was born in St. James's Palace on 
the 6th of February, 1665, and was married here, 
in the Chapel Royal, to Prince George of Den- 
mark, on the 28th of July, 1683. She was allowed 
to keep her court at St. James's during the latter 


part of the reign of King William ; and we find 
her residing here at the time when Bishop Burnet 
brought her the tidings of the death of her 
brother-in-law, and, consequently, of her own ac- 
cession to the throne. After the death of her 
consort at Kensington, when that place had be- 
come painful to her from its associations, she 
removed to St. James's to indulge her grief ; 
and here we find her frequently keeping her 
court during her reign. 

George the First and George the Second con- 
stantly resided, and kept their courts, at St. 
James's. George the Third also kept his court 
here, but his domestic apartments were in the 
queen's residence, Buckingham Palace. 

George the First, on his accession to the 
throne, was conducted, immediately on his arrival 
in London, to St. James's Palace. " This is a 
strange country," he remarked afterward; "the 
first morning after my arrival at St. James's I 
looked out of the window, and saw a park with 
walks, and a canal, which they told me were mine. 
The next day Lord Chetwynd, the ranger of my 
park, sent me a fine brace of carp out of my canal ; 
and I was told I must give five guineas to Lord 
Chetwynd's servant for bringing me my own carp, 
out of my own canal, in my own park." 

George the First's mistress, the well-known and 
ungainly Duchess of Kendal, was located with her 
royal lover at St. James's. Horace Walpole in- 


forms us that her apartments were on the ground 
floor, looking into the garden ; apartments which, 
after the king's death, were successively inhabited 
by the celebrated mistresses of his son and suc- 
cessor, the Countesses of Yarmouth and Suffolk. 
Shortly before his death, George the First estab- 
lished a young mistress at St. James's, Anne 
Brett, a daughter of the repudiated Countess of 
Macclesfield by her second husband, and a sister 
of the unfortunate Savage, the poet. Her apart- 
ments also were on the ground floor of the palace, 
overlooking the garden, adjoining those of the king's 
granddaughters, the Princesses Anne, Amelia, and 
Elizabeth. When the king departed on his last 
journey to Hanover, from whence he never re- 
turned, Miss Brett, we are told, ordered a door 
to be opened from one of her apartments into the 
palace garden. The Princess Anne, unwilling 
to have such a companion in her walks, ordered 
the wall to be built up again. The command was 
imperiously reversed by Miss Brett, but while the 
dispute was still at issue the news arrived of 
the king's death, and at once put an end to the 
short reign of the haughty courtesan. 

George the Second, when Prince of Wales, re- 
sided with his family in St. James's Palace, till 
his memorable quarrel with his father in 1717. It 
was in one of the apartments of the palace the 
bedchamber of the Princess of Wales that the 
fracas took place which led to their estrangement. 


The quarrel, as is well known, originated in some 
unpleasant circumstances connected with the chris- 
tening of one of the prince's children. The prince 
had proposed that the king and his uncle, the 
Bishop of Osnaburgh, should stand godfathers to 
his infant child. The selection 'was clearly an 
unexceptionable one, and, consequently, the prince 
was not a little irritated, when the king, after con- 
senting to accept the office for himself, nominated 
the Duke of Newcastle, a nobleman who was 
personally disagreeable to the prince, as his col- 
league on the occasion. The company assembled 
in the bedchamber of the princess, and the scene 
which followed is described by Walpole in his 
usual happy manner. " Lady Suffolk," he says, 
" then in waiting as woman of the bedchamber, 
and of most accurate memory,' painted the scene 
to me exactly. On one side of the bed stood 
the godfathers and godmother ; on the other the 
prince and princess's ladies. No sooner had the 
bishop closed the ceremony, than the prince, 
crossing the feet of the bed in a rage, stepped up 
to the Duke of Newcastle, and, holding up his 
hand and forefinger in a menacing attitude, said, 
' You are a rascal, but I shall find you ; ' meaning, 
in broken English, I shall find a time to be re- 
venged. What was my astonishment," continued 
Lady Suffolk, "when going to the princess's 
apartment the next morning, the yeomen in the 
guard-chamber pointed their halberts at my breast, 


and told me I must not pass. I urged that it was 
my duty to attend the princess ; they said, ' No 
matter, I must not pass that way.' In one word 
the king had been so provoked at the prince's 
outrage in his presence, that it had been deter- 
mined to put a still greater insult on his Royal 
Highness. His threat to the duke was pretended 
to be understood as a challenge, and to prevent a 
duel he had been actually put under arrest ! As if 
a Prince of Wales could stoop to fight with a sub- 
ject ! The arrest was soon taken off, but at night 
the prince and princess were ordered to leave the 
palace." The child who was the innocent cause 
of the quarrel between the prince and his father, 
was christened George William, and survived its 
birth scarcely three months, dying on the 6th of 
February, 1718. Singularly enough, it fell to the 
lot of the Duke of Newcastle, as lord chamber- 
lain, to superintend the funeral obsequies of the 
deceased child. It was on this occasion observed 
that the duke had twice the honour to introduce 
the royal infant into the Church, once into the 
bosom, and once into the bowels of it. 

On the 20th of November, 1737, Queen Caro- 
line, the strong-minded and beloved queen of 
George the Second, breathed her last in St. 
James's Palace. She was seized with her fatal 
illness while walking in the garden of the palace. 
During the eleven days which preceded her dissolu- 
tion, though enduring almost intolerable agony, 


her fortitude remained unshaken ; her gentleness 
and courtesy to those who surrounded her sick- 
bed drew tears from every eye ; she expressed 
herself resigned to the will of God, and grateful 
for his dispensations ; and, in the most pathetic 
manner, recommended her servants to the care 
and protection of her heart-broken husband. 
Shortly before her dissolution, she inquired of 
one of her physicians, " How long can this last ? " 
and on his answering, "Your Majesty will soon be 
eased of your pains," "The sooner the better," 
she replied. She then composed herself to prayer, 
but finding her speech failing her, she desired to 
be raised up in bed, and on two occasions re- 
quested that some cold water might be sprinkled 
over her. Some minutes before she expired, she 
expressed a wish that the weeping bystanders 
should kneel down and pray for her. While they 
were thus engaged, she exclaimed, " Pray aloud, 
that I may hear you." She joined them, in a faint 
voice, in repeating the Lord's Prayer, and, at its 
conclusion, waving her hand, and endeavouring 
to give utterance to some indistinct expression, 

At St. James's, Frederick, Prince of Wales, was 
married to the Princess Augusta of Saxe-Gotha, 
on the 26th of April, 1736. A mutual antipathy 
between the sovereign and the heir to the throne 
seems to be a hereditary failing in the house of 
Hanover. When Frederick in his turn quarrelled 


with the king, his father, St. James's again became 
the scene of these disgraceful family squabbles. 
From a feeling of spite to his father, Frederick, 
when his princess was actually in the very pains 
of childbirth, hurried her away from Hampton 
Court, where every preparation had been made for 
her lying-in, and carried her, in the middle of the 
night, to an unaired bed at St. James's. On 
the arrival of the princess at the palace, the prime 
minister, the Archbishop of Canterbury, and the 
different officers of state, were sent for with the 
utmost despatch, to be present at her delivery, 
but before their arrival she had given birth to a 
child. It is remarkable that on the arrival of the 
princess, in consequence of the absence of the ser- 
vants of the palace, Frederick and his mistress, 
Lady Archibald Hamilton, were compelled to air 
the sheets for her bed. Queen Caroline arrived 
the next morning at St. James's, and upbraided 
her son in no gentle terms for his brutal conduct. 
Walpole tells us that the prince maintained a sulky 
silence, and, at the queen's departure, offered her 
his hand, without uttering a word, to conduct her 
to her coach at the gate of the palace. Finding, 
however, a crowd assembled around the carriage, 
he knelt down in the dirt and humbly kissed her 
Majesty's hand. " Her indignation," adds Walpole, 
" must have shrunk into contempt ! " 

In November, 1733, Anne, the eldest daughter 
of George the Second and Queen Caroline, was 


married in the Chapel Royal of St. James's to 
the Prince of Orange, a man the hideousness of 
whose appearance is said to have been only 
exceeded by some monster in a pantomime, or 
some ogre in a fairy tale. In giving him her 
hand, the princess seems to have been entirely 
influenced by a feminine love of power and rule. 
To her mother she once observed, " I would die 
to-morrow to be a queen to-day ; " and when her 
father spoke affectionately to her of the ungain- 
liness of her lover's appearance, and told her it 
was not yet too late to recede, "I would marry 
him," she said, "even if he were a baboon." The 
subsequent story of the princess and her lover is 
that of the " Beauty and the Beast " over again. 
Lord Chesterfield tells us that he had as many 
" great and good " qualities as any of his ances- 
tors ; and, accordingly, notwithstanding his revolt- 
ing ugliness, the princess not only grew extremely 
fond of her husband, but is said to have been 
sensibly alive to his attentions to other women. 
We have some account of their marriage ceremony 
at St. James's. The prince is described as having 
been habited in a suit of cloth of gold ; the prin- 
cess in a robe of silver tissue, her train, which 
was six yards long, being supported by ten young 
ladies, the daughters of dukes and earls, with 
dresses of similar materials to her own. At twelve 
o'clock the bride and bridegroom supped in public 
with the royal family, and shortly afterward re- 


ceived company in bed. The present public mode 
of marriage is indecent enough, but is chaste 
compared with the license permitted by our fore- 
fathers. The last occasion, we believe, in this 
country, on which a new-married couple received 
company in bed, was at the marriage in 1797 of 
the Queen of Wirtemberg, sister of the late king, 
who often related the anecdote. Probably the 
custom may still be not uncommon in many parts 
of the Continent, for I remember being a guest at 
a marriage in Norway, where the last words which 
we heard on parting at night were an invitation 
to congratulate the bride and bridegroom in bed 
on the following morning. 

A far more interesting personage than the Prin- 
cess of Orange was her sister, the Princess Caro- 
line, third daughter of George the Second. This 
amiable, feminine, and interesting princess is known 
to have fallen hopelessly in love with the celebrated 
John, Lord Hervey. After his death she shut her- 
self up in two rooms in one of the inner courts of 
St. James's Palace, where, excluded from the view 
of all passing objects, she admitted the visits of a 
very few only of her nearest relations and most 
cherished friends. In this seclusion she almost 
entirely occupied herself with her religious duties, 
dispensing almost her whole income in acts of 
charity and generosity, and calmly preparing for 
her end. Her constant prayer was for death. 
When urged to accede to some proposition to- 


which she was extremely averse, " I would not do 
it," she said, " to die ! " Her death took place 
at St. James's on the 28th of December, 1757, in 
the forty-fifth year of her age. In her last illness 
she expressed the same earnest desire to quit the 
world. When the pain occasioned by her disorder 
had ceased, in consequence of mortification having 
commenced, " I feared," she said, " I should not 
have died of this." 

The last of the royal family of England, of 
the past age, whose name is associated with St. 
James's Palace, is the gentle and amiable Princess 
Mary, fourth daughter of George the Second, who 
was married here on the 8th of May, 1740, in the 
Chapel Royal, to an illiterate and ill-tempered Ger- 
man, Frederick, hereditary Prince of Hesse-Cassel. 
Shortly after their marriage he carried his charm- 
ing wife with him to his German dominions, where, 
after more than thirty years embittered by his 
unceasing brutalities, she expired on the I4th of 
June, 1771. 

We have little more to add to our reminiscences 
of St. James's Palace. We must not forget, how- 
ever, to mention the German Chapel, situated in 
the open space between St. James's and Marl- 
borough House, which was originally built as a 
Roman Catholic place of worship, for the use of 
Henrietta Maria, after her marriage to Charles the 
First. The imprudent erection of this chapel in 
a puritanical age is intimately connected with the 


domestic dissensions of Charles, and gave great 
offence to his subjects. To Charles, the number 
of Roman Catholic priests who accompanied Hen- 
rietta to England, and their interference in his 
private concerns, were especially disagreeable. 
When, on one occasion, they sent to complain 
to him that the chapel at St. James's was pro- 
gressing but slowly toward completion, " Tell 
them," he said, petulantly, " that if the queen's 
closet (where they then said mass) is not large 
enough, they may use the great chamber ; and if 
the great chamber is not wide enough, they may 
make use of the garden ; and if the garden will 
not suit their purpose, they may go to the park, 
which is the fittest place of all." This last re- 
mark, it would seem, did not so much apply to the 
number of French Catholics in general, as to the 
number of English priests, who seized every oppor- 
tunity of attending the celebration of mass. This 
assemblage eventually became so numerous that 
even the queen herself, on one occasion, rose from 
her seat, and, rebuking the latter for their improper 
zeal, peremptorily commanded them to retire. 
Their numbers, however, continuing to increase, 
the officers of the court were stationed at the 
entrance of the chapel in order forcibly to prevent 
their ingress. Some indecent scenes were the 
consequence, the French Catholics drawing their 
swords in defence of their English brethren, and 
resisting the interference of the guard. 


It was in the chapel at St. James's, then styled 
the queen's chapel, that James the Second, two 
days after the death of his brother Charles, openly 
insulted the prejudices of his people, and infringed 
the sanctity of the laws by publicly attending 
mass, surrounded by all the insignia of royalty 
and the splendid paraphernalia of the Romish 
Church. He was attended, both to and from the 
chapel, by the band of gentlemen pensioners, his 
life-guards, several of the nobility, as well as by 
the Knights of the Garter, in the collars of their 
order. It was on this occasion that the Duke of 
Norfolk, whose office it was to carry the sword 
of state, stopped short when he came to the door 
of the chapel, with the evident intention of pro- 
ceeding no farther. James was much discon- 
certed. " My lord," he said, " your father would 
have gone farther." " Your Majesty's father,'* 
replied the duke, " would not have gone so far." 

We must not forget to mention that the last 
London residence of Charles James Fox was in 
Stable Yard, St. James's, and that here his re- 
mains were brought from the Duke of Devon- 
shire's villa at Chiswick, where he died, previous 
to the ceremony of their interment in Westminster 

When Peter the Great was in this country, he 
once observed to William the Third that, were 
he King of England, he would convert Greenwich 
Hospital into a palace, and St. James's into a 



hospital. Notwithstanding, however, its discredit- 
able appearance, St. James's Palace is said to be 
the most commodious for the purposes of a court, 
and regal parade, of any palace in Europe. It 
may be mentioned that, on the 2ist of June, 1809, 
a great fire broke out in the palace, which de- 
stroyed the whole of the east wing of the inner 


Original Enclosure Charles Going to Execution Cromwell 
Skating Game of Pall-mall Charles the Second 
Queen Anne Marlborough House The Mall Spring 
Gardens Buckingham House. 

ST. JAMES'S PARK was originally enclosed by 
Henry the Eighth, shortly after he purchased the 
hospital of St. James's, and the fields attached to it. 
The wall, or rather paling, of the park formerly 
ran where the houses on the south side of Pall 
Mall now stand. Charles the Second removed it 
to its present boundary, and, under the direction 
of the celebrated French gardener, Le Notre, 
planted the avenues and disposed the trees as 
we now see them. The Bird-cage Walk was the 
favourite aviary of that monarch, and derives its 
name from the cages which were hung in the 
trees. Charles also formed the canal, and in his 
reign Duck Island took its name from being the 
breeding-place of the numerous water-fowl with 
which the park was stocked. The government of 
Duck Island was once enjoyed, with a small sal- 
ary, by the celebrated St. Evremond. Pennant 


speaks of it as "the first and last government," 
but he is mistaken in the fact, it having previously 
been conferred by Charles the Second on Sir 
John Flock, a person of good family, and a com- 
panion of the king during his exile. Horace Wai- 
pole writes to Sir Horace Mann, on the Qth of 
February, 1751: "My Lord Pomfret is made 
ranger of the parks, and, by consequence, my 
lady is queen of the Duck Island." This little 
island, which stood at the west end of the canal, 
was destroyed when some alterations were made 
in the park in 1770. 

Another interesting feature of St. James's Park, 
which disappeared at the same time, was Rosa- 
mond's Pond, situated opposite to James Street, 
Westminster, at the southwest corner of the 
park. Its romantic appearance, the irregularity 
of the ground, the trees which overshadowed it, 
and the view of the venerable abbey, rendered 
it, we are told, a favourite resort of the contem- 
plative ; while its secluded and melancholy situa- 
tion is said to have tempted a greater number of 
persons to commit suicide, especially unfortunate 
females, than any other place in London. 

St. James's Park is replete with historical as- 
sociations, and not the least interesting is its 
having been the scene where Charles the First 
passed on foot, on the morning of his execution, 
from his bedchamber in St. James's Palace to the 
scaffold at Whitehall. Colonel Hacker having 


knocked at his door, and informed him that it 
was time to depart, Charles took Bishop Juxon 
by the hand, and bidding his faithful attendant 
Herbert bring with him his silver clock, intimated 
to Hacker, with a cheerful countenance, that he 
was ready to accompany him. As he passed 
through the palace garden into the park, he in- 
quired of Herbert the hour of the day, and after- 
ward bade him keep the clock for his sake. The 
procession was a remarkable one. On each side 
of the king was arranged a line of soldiers, 
and before him and behind him were a guard of 
halberdiers, their drums beating and colours fly- 
ing. On his right hand was Bishop Juxon, and on 
his left hand Colonel Tomlinson, both bareheaded. 
There is a tradition that, during his walk, he 
pointed out a tree, not far from the entrance to 
Spring Gardens (close to the spot which is now 
a well-known station for cows), which he said had 
been planted by his brother Henry. He was sub- 
jected to more than one annoyance during his 
progress. One ruffianly fanatic officer, in par- 
ticular, inquired of him, with insulting brutality, 
whether it were true that he had been cognisant 
of his father's murder. Another fanatic, a " mean 
citizen," as he is styled by Fuller, was perceived 
to walk close by his side, and keep his eyes con- 
stantly fixed on the king, with an expression of 
particular malignity. Charles merely turned away 
his face ; and eventually the man was pushed 


away by the more feeling among the king's per- 
secutors. The guards marching at a slow pace, 
the king desired them to proceed faster. "I 
go," he said, "to strive for a heavenly crown, 
with less solicitude than I have formerly en- 
couraged my soldiers to fight for an earthly one." 
However, the noise of the drums rendered con- 
versation extremely difficult. On reaching the 
spot where the Horse Guards now stands, Charles 
ascended a staircase which then opened into the 
park, and passing along the famous gallery which 
at that time ran across the street, was conducted 
to his usual bedchamber at Whitehall, where he 
continued till summoned by Hacker to the scaf- 

With reference to the passage of Charles the 
First through St. James's Park on the morning 
of his execution, we are enabled to lay before the 
reader the following interesting extract from a 
letter preserved in the British Museum, which has 
not hitherto appeared in print : " This day his 
Majesty died upon a scaffold at Whitehall. His 
children were with him last night : to the Duke 
of Gloucester he gave his George ; to the lady 
[the Princess Elizabeth], his ring off his finger : 
he told them his subjects had many things to 
give their children, but that was all he had to 
give them. This day, about one o'clock, he came 
from St. James's in a long black cloak and gray 
stockings. The palsgrave came through the park 


with him. He was faint, and was forced to sit 
down and rest him in the park. He went into 
Whitehall the usual way out of the park ; and so 
came out of the Banqueting-house upon planks, 
made purposely, to the scaffold. He was not long 
there, and what he spoke was to the two bishops, 
Doctor Juxon and Doctor Morton. To Doctor 
Juxon he gave his hat and cloak. He prayed 
with them ; walked twice or thrice about the 
scaffold ; and held out his hands to the people. 
His last words, as I am informed, were, 'To 
your power I must submit, but your authority 
I deny.' He pulled his doublet off himself, and 
kneeled down to the block himself. When some 
officer offered to help him to unbutton him, or 
some such like thing, he thrust him from him. 
Two men, in vizards and false hair, were ap- 
pointed to be his executioners. Who they were 
is not known : some say he that did it was the 
common hangman ; others, that it was one Cap- 
tain Foxley, and that the hangman refused. The 
Bishop of London had been constantly with him 
since sentence was given. Since he died, they 
have made proclamation that no man, upon pain 
of I know not what, shall presume to proclaim 
his son, Prince Charles, king ; and this is all I 
have yet heard of this sad day's work." 

It is not a little curious to find, on more than 
one occasion, "the Lord Protector taking the air 
in St. James's Park in a sedan." It was here, too, 


the day before it was agreed upon that the 
Parliament should make him the splendid offer 
of the crown of the Plantagenets, that Crom- 
well led those bigoted and uncompromising re- 
publicans, Fleetwood and Desborough, and, taking 
them into one of the retired walks of the park, 
endeavoured by every argument to induce them 
to connive at his ambitious views. " He drolled 
with them," we are told, " about monarchy ; said 
that it was but a feather in a man's cap ; and 
wondered that men would not please children, and 
permit them to enjoy their rattle." Fleetwood 
and Desborough were both the near connections 
of the great Protector, the former having married 
his daughter, and the latter his sister. In vain, 
however, he appealed to their feelings, their prej- 
udices, their ambition. The conversation termi- 
nated by both tendering him their commissions. 
They were resolved, they said, never to serve a 
king ; they saw the evils which would follow 
the elevation of their illustrious kinsman to the 
throne ; and they added that, though they cer- 
tainly would not bear arms against him, yet they 
felt it a duty hereafter to decline carrying them 
in his service. Cromwell, it seems, laughed off 
the affair ; called them " a couple of precise,, 
scrupulous fellows," and took his leave. 

Cromwell was at this period in the pride and 
zenith of his greatness, but the Marquis of Or- 
mond, in a letter dated the I3th of March, 1656,. 


draws a very different picture of him as he 
appeared in St. James's Park at the close of his 
extraordinary career. It was when the threat- 
ened approach of death, the torments occasioned 
by a miserable disease, the failure of his fondest 
schemes, and the terrors of assassination rendered 
life almost a burden. " Some say," writes Lord 
Ormond, "that the Protector is many times like 
one distracted ; and in these fits he will run round 
about the house and into the garden, or else ride 
out with very little company, which he never doth 
when composed and free from disorder. Friday 
last a friend met him in St. James's Park, with 
only one man with him, and in a distempered 
carriage. If any people offered to deliver him 
petitions or the like, he refused, and told them he 
had other things to think of. Fleetwood was in 
the Park at the same time, but walked at a dis- 
tance, not daring to approach him in his passion, 
which, they say, was occasioned by some carriage 
of Lambert's ; this you may give credit to." 

Cromwell expired in the neighbouring palace of 
Whitehall, and it was during the frightful storm 
which howled around his death-bed on the night 
that he died that many of the ancient trees in St. 
James's Park were uprooted. It is to this memo- 
rable storm that Waller alludes in his fine monody 
on the death of Cromwell : 

" We must resign ! Heaven his great soul doth claim, 
In storms as loud as his immortal fame, 


His dying groans ; his last breath shakes our isle, 
And trees uncut fall for his funeral pile : 
About his palace their broad roots are tost 
Into the air. So Romulus was lost ! 
And Rome in such a tempest lost her king, 
And from obeying, fell to worshipping." 

In the pages of Pepys will be found many curi- 
ous notices of St. James's Park, from the time 
that Charles the Second commenced his improve- 
ments there under the direction of Le Notre, till 
the mall became the established lounging-place of 
the merry monarch and his gay court. We will 
select some scattered passages from the diary 
of the gossiping chronicler: " 1660, July 22d. 
Went to walk in the inward park, but could not 
get in ; one man was basted by the keeper for car- 
rying some people over on his back through the 
water." " Sept. i6th. To the park, where I saw 
how far they had proceeded in the Pall Mall, and 
in making a river through the park, which I had 
never seen before since it was begun." "Oct. 
nth. To walk in St. James's Park, where we 
observed the several engines at work to draw up 
water, with which sight I was very much pleased." 
" 1661, April 2d. To St. James's Park, where 
I saw the Duke of York playing at pall-mall, the 
first time that ever I saw the sport." " August 
4th. Walked into St. James's Park (where I had 
not been a great while), and there found great 
and very noble alterations." "1662, July 2/th. 


I went to walk in the park, which is now every 
day more and more pleasant by the new works 
upon it." " December I5th. To the duke, and 
followed him into the park, where, though the ice 
was broken, he would go slide upon his skates, 
which I did not like, but he slides very well." 

Fourteen days before the date of the last 
extract, we find Evelyn writing in his diary: 
"1662, December ist. Saw the strange and 
wonderful dexterity of the sliders on the new 
canal in St. James's Park performed before their 
Majesties by divers gentlemen and others with 
skates, after the manner of the Hollanders ; with 
what a swiftness they pause, how suddenly they 
stop in full career upon the ice." From these 
extracts, it is evident that the art of skating had 
been acquired by Charles and his gay followers, 
during the time that the former held his exiled 
court in the Low Countries, and that it was intro- 
duced by them into England at the Restoration. 
From a passage in Swift's "Journal to Stella," it 
would seem that more than half a century after- 
ward the art was still comparatively unknown. 
In January, 1711, he writes: " Delicate walking 
weather, and the canal and Rosamond's Pond full 
of the rabble, sliding, and with skates, if you know 
what that is." 

In the time of the Commonwealth, when the 
ground to the north of St. James's Park consisted 
of open fields, the game of pall-mall, to which we 


find Pepys alluding, was played, as appears by a 
plan of St. James's Palace printed in 1660, on the 
site of the present Pall Mall. We have already 
mentioned that the paling of the park originally 
ran where the line of the houses on the south side 
now stand, and it was against this paling that 
the game was anciently played. When Charles the 
Second, after the Restoration, removed the boun- 
dary of the park to its present site, namely, the 
garden walls of St. James's and Marlborough 
House, the game was played between the avenue 
of trees nearest to St. James's Palace, adjoining 
the present carriage road. This fact we find 
established by a very curious print in the sup- 
plementary volume to Lord Lansdowne's works 
printed by Walthoe, in 1732, and also in a passage 
of the well-known letters from Sheffield, Duke of 
Buckingham, to the Earl of Shrewsbury, in which 
he vaunts the splendours and advantages of his 
newly erected mansion (on the site of the present 
Buckingham Palace), and describes the rows of 
trees planted by Charles the Second as forming 
an admirable approach to his new abode. "The 
avenues to this house," he writes, " are along St. 
James's Park, through rows of goodly elms on one 
hand, and gay flourishing limes on the other ; that 
for coaches, this for walking, with the mall lying 
betwixt them." 

The mall, it is needless to remark, derives its 
name from the game of pall-mall, which, in its 


turn, probably, borrowed its designation from the 
words pellere malleo, to strike with a mallet or 
racket. The ground on which it was played 
was a narrow strip, between two rows of trees, 
extending about half a mile, enclosed on each side, 
as appears by the print we have already referred 
to, by a border of wood, on which, at regular dis- 
tances, numbers were inscribed to denote the prog- 
ress of the game. Of the sport itself, indeed, we 
know little more than that it consisted of striking 
a ball through an iron ring suspended from a hoop. 
From Pepys we learn that the ground was kept 
with great care. " 1663, May I5th. I walked in 
the park, discoursing with the keeper of the pall- 
mall, who was sweeping it, and who told me that 
the earth is mixed that do floor the mall, and that 
over all there is cockle-shells powdered and spread 
to keep it fast, which, however, in dry weather 
turns to dust and deads the ball." The person 
who had the care of the ground was called the 
king's " cockle strewer." 

Charles the Second, in the early part of his 
reign, was constantly to be seen playing at pall- 
mall in St. James's Park, and, if we are to place 
any faith in the adulatory lines of Waller, was 
extremely expert at the game. 

" Here a well-polished mall give us the joy, 
To see our prince his matchless force employ ; 
His manly posture and his graceful mien, 
Vigour and youth in all his motions seen ; 


His shape so lovely, and his limbs so strong, 
Confirm our hopes, we shall obey him long. 
No sooner has he touched the flying ball, 
But 'tis already more than half the mall ; 
And such a fury from his arm has got, 
As from a smoking culverin it were shot." 

Charles the Second loved walking almost as 
much as his brother James delighted in riding, 
and as he could easily pass from the palace of 
Whitehall into St. James's Park, the latter became 
his almost daily resort. Pepys mentions his pass- 
ing an hour in the park, seeing the king and the 
Duke of York " come to see their fowl play," and 
Gibber says, in his " Apology for His Life," " The 
king's indolent amusement of playing with his dogs 
and feeding his ducks in St. James's Park, which 
I have seen him do, made the common people adore 
him." The freedom with which Charles mingled 
with his subjects is so well known, that the peru- 
sal of the following extract of an order issued in 
1617 rather takes us by surprise. 

"An officer of our horse-guards is always to 
attend and follow next our person, when we walk 
abroad, or pass up and down from one place to 
another, as well within doors as without, excepting 
always our bedchamber." This order was issued 
about the same time that Blood made his daring 
attempt on the crown jewels. Whether, how- 
ever, it originated in any apprehension of per- 
sonal danger, or merely from the people pressing 


on the king in his walks, it is now difficult to 

Coke, the author of the well-known " Memoirs/' 
mentions a particular occasion when he was in at- 
tendance on the king, during one of his customary 
walks in St. James's Park. Charles, as is well 
known, took a considerable interest in the numer- 
ous birds with which the park was stocked, and 
delighted in feeding them with his own hand. 
One day, having concluded his walk, he was pro- 
ceeding in the direction of Whitehall, when, at the 
western end of the mall, he encountered Prince 
Rupert, whom he invited to accompany him to 
the palace. "The king," says Coke (who was 
near enough to overhear the conversation), "told 
the prince how he had shot a duck, and such a 
dog fetched it ; and so they walked on till the 
king came to St. James's House, and there the 
king said to the prince, ' Let's go and see Cam- 
bridge and Kendal,' the Duke of York's two sons, 
who then lay a-dying. But upon his return to 
Whitehall he found all in an uproar, the Coun- 
tess of Castlemaine, as it was said, bewailing above 
all others, that she should be the first torn to 
pieces." It appears that the startling news of the 
Dutch fleet having sailed up the Medway had just 
been received at the palace. 

There are few who are in the habit of passing 
through St. James's Park, who have not at times 
called to mind the passage in Evelyn's diary, 


in which the amiable and virtuous philosopher 
describes himself shocked at witnessing a curious 
dalliance between Charles the Second and Nell 
Gwynn. The house of the charming actress in 
Pall Mall had been built for her by her royal 
lover, and her garden extended to the mall in St. 
James's Park. Evelyn writes, on the first of 
March, 1671 : "I walked with the king through 
St. James's Park to the garden, where I both saw 
and heard a very familiar discourse between Mrs. 
Nelly, as they called an impudent comedian, she 
looking out of her garden on a terrace at the top 

of the wall, and standing on the green walk 

under. I was heartily sorry at this scene. Thence 
the king walked to the Duchess of Cleveland, 
another lady of pleasure and curse of our nation." 
We may mention one more passage which con- 
nects St. James's Park with the merry reign of 
Charles the Second, namely, a graphic description 
by Pepys of a court cavalcade returning to White- 
hall. " 1 663, July 13. I met the queen-mother 
walking in the Pall Mall led by my Lord St. 
Albans ; and finding many coaches at the gate, 
I found upon inquiry that the duchess is brought 
to bed of a boy ; and hearing that the king and 
queen are rode abroad with the ladies of honour 
to the park, and seeing a great crowd of gallants 
staying here to see their return, I also stayed, 
walking up and down. By and by the king and 
queen, who looked in this dress (a white laced 


waistcoat and a crimson short petticoat, and her 
hair dressed a la negligence) mighty pretty ; and 
the king rode hand in hand with her. Here also 
my Lady Castlemaine rode amongst the rest of 
the ladies ; but the king took no notice of her ; 
nor when she alighted did anybody press (as she 
seemed to expect and stayed for it) to take her 
down, but was taken down by her own gentlemen. 
She looked mighty out of humour, and had a yellow 
plume in her hat (which all took notice of), and yet 
is very handsome but very melancholy ; nor did 
anybody speak to her, or she so much as speak or 
smile to anybody. I followed them into White- 
hall, and into the queen's presence, where all the 
ladies walked, talking and fiddling with their hats 
and feathers, and changing and trying them on 
one another's heads, and laughing." 

From the days of Charles the Second we readily 
pass to those of Queen Anne. From that most 
interesting series of letters, the " Journal to Stella," 
we learn that the mall in St. James's Park was the 
favourite resort of Swift, and that here many of 
the most remarkable men of the Augustan age 
of England were the frequent companions of his 
walks. We will select a few passages from the 
"Journal." "1711, Feb. 8th. I walked in the park 
to-day in spite of the weather, as I do every day 
when it does not actually rain." "March 2ist. 
The days are now long enough to walk in the park 
after dinner, and so I do whenever it is fair. This 


walking is a strange remedy ; Mr. Prior walks to 
make himself fat, and I to bring myself down ; he 
has generally a cough, which he only calls a cold. 
We often walk around the park together." " May 
1 5th. My way is this : I leave my best gown and 
periwig at Mrs. Vanhomrigh's, then walk up the 
Pall Mall, out at Buckingham House, and so to 
Chelsea, a little beyond the church. I set out 
about sunset, and get there in something less than 
an hour; it is two good miles, and just 5,748 
steps. When I pass the mall in the evening, it 
is prodigious to see the number of ladies walking 
there ; and I always cry shame at the ladies of Ire- 
land, who never walk at all, as if their legs were of 
no use but to be laid aside." " 1712, March Qth. 
I walked in the park this evening, and came home 
early to avoid the Mohocks." "March i6th. 
Lord Winchelsea told me to-day at court that two 
of the Mohocks caught a maid of old Lady Winchel- 
sea's at the door of their house in the park, with 
a candle, who had just lighted out somebody. They 
cut all her face and beat her without any provoca- 
tion." " December 27th. I met Mr. Addison and 
Pastoral Philips on the mall to-day, and took a turn 
with them ; but they both looked terribly dry and 

But unquestionably the most remarkable person 
who is mentioned by Swift as one of his compan- 
ions in his walks in the mall, was the young and 
accomplished secretary of state, Henry St. John,. 


afterward Lord Bolingbroke. Swift writes on the 
24th of August, 171 1 : " Lord Radnor and I were 
walking the mall this evening, and Mr. Secretary 
met us and took a turn or two and then stole 
away, and we both believe it was to pick up some 
wench, and to-morrow he will be at the cabinet 
with the queen ; so goes the world ! " But this 
was not the only occasion when the immorality 
of the libertine statesman distinguished itself in 
St. James's Park. " I have spoken to an old man," 
says Goldsmith, " who assured me that he saw him 
and one of his companions run naked through the 
park in a fit of intoxication ; but then it was a time 
when public decency might be transgressed with 
less danger than at present." " His youth," writes 
Lord Chesterfield, "was distinguished by all the 
tumult and storm of pleasures in which he most 
licentiously triumphed, disclaiming all decorum. 
His fine imagination has often been heated and 
exhausted with his body in celebrating and deify- 
ing the prostitute of the night, and his convivial 
joys were pushed to all the extravagance of frantic 

St. James's Park is connected with one other 
illustrious name in the reign of Queen Anne. At 
the time when the great Duke of Marlborough was 
in the zenith of his unpopularity, we find a Mrs. 
White writing as follows to a Mrs. Mason : " On 
the birthday of the queen, the Duke of Marlbor- 
ough was in a chair in St. James's Park, with the 


curtains drawn. The mob, that believed it to be 
the Prince Eugene, huzzaed the chair; but the 
duke modestly drew back the curtains and put 
himself out, and with a sign showed his dislike to 
the salutation. The mob, rinding their mistake, 
and that it was he, cried out, ' Stop, thief,' which 
was a thorough mortification to him. His daugh- 
ters that day, to show their contempt of the court, 
were in wrapping-gowns in a window at St. James's, 
to see the company pass, two of them, and the 
other two drove through the Pall Mall four times, 
in the worst of mob-dress they could put them- 
selves. The duke was in a black suit that day, 
and his son-in-law, the Duke of Montague, was at 
court in a plain coarse red coat, with a long shoul- 
der-knot, in ridicule of the day ; but the queen had 
the satisfaction to see the most splendid court 
that ever was, and crowded more than ever by all 
the Church, nobility, and gentry. My Lord Marl- 
borough finds his levees much thinner than they 
were, and daily less and less. The people are dis- 
gusted at him." The author of this work witnessed 
a scene in St. James's Park, where a noble duke of 
our own time, scarcely less illustrious as a general 
than the Duke of Marlborough, was hooted and 
even pelted by a rabble, on the same ground, per- 
haps, on which the great Marlborough had been 
subjected more than a century before to similar 

Marlborough House a tribute of gratitude 


from the people of England to the great duke 
was built on a part of the gardens attached to 
St. James's Palace, at the expense of ,40,000. 
It originally consisted of only two stories ; the 
present upper story having been added by George, 
fourth Duke of Marlborough, who also constructed 
the large apartment on the ground floor. There 
are few persons, who take an interest in the his- 
tory of the last age, who can pass by Marlborough 
House without calling to mind many remarkable 
passages in the history of the great warrior and of 
his beautiful and high-spirited duchess, of which 
this interesting mansion was the scene. Here, too, 
it was that the remains of the illustrious duke were 
removed from Windsor Park, where he died ; and 
from hence they were conveyed in great state to 
Westminster Abbey. The cavalcade moved from 
Marlborough House along St. James's Park and up 
Constitution Hill to Hyde Park Corner, and from 
thence through Piccadilly and Pall Mall, by Charing 
Cross to Westminster. At the entrance to the 
abbey, the body was received with a blaze of torches, 
and the funeral ceremony was not rendered the less 
impressive from the fine voice and dignified deliv- 
ery of Bishop Atterbury, then Dean of Westmin- 
ster, who performed the service. 

After the death of her husband, his imperious 
widow proposed instead of the present insignifi- 
cant entrance in Pall Mall to pull down the ad- 
joining house in that street, and thus form a fine 


approach immediately in front of the mansion. 
The house, however, which she was desirous of 
purchasing for this purpose, was bought by Sir 
Robert Walpole, who by this means anticipated 
her design. Personally detesting Sir Robert from 
the different sides which they took in politics, she 
was not the less enraged against him for interfer- 
ing with her domestic comforts ; and when, sub- 
sequently, at his presumed instigation, she was 
excluded from the right, which she had previously 
enjoyed in the reign of Queen Anne, of driving in 
St. James's Park, her indignation knew no bounds. 
There is extant a curious letter addressed by the 
duchess to Doctor Hare in 1726, in which, among 
other grievances, she especially dwells on the hard- 
ship of her equipage being excluded from the 
park. "I am now come," she writes, "to what 
Sir Robert says concerning my being forbid that 
small privilege of going through St. James's Park, 
which the late queen never took from me, even 
when the ministers, for their own interest, made 
her angry with me. Whether the king spoke first 
to Sir Robert, or he advised it himself, makes no 
difference to me. I think it was unreasonable for 
St. James's Park to be made like a street ; but 
considering the situation of my house, and how 
very modestly I had made use of the liberty that 
was given me, I thought I might have hoped, from 
the services that I had always endeavoured to do 
Sir Robert, when I had power, that he would not 


have allowed the Duke of Buckingham's widow a 
greater favour than the Duke of Marlborough's, 
since her house is as near Hyde Park and West- 
minster as mine, and has both ways a better going 
to it than mine has from the Pall Mall, through 
a narrow place that sometimes, from the encroach- 
ments people have made, a coach and six horses 
can hardly get out ; and what makes this the more 
extraordinary is, that Sir Robert Walpole told me 
himself that the Duchess of Buckingham had wrote 
so impertinent a letter to the king that she was not 
to be allowed to go through the park ; yet after 
that she was allowed to go through every part of 
the park, as much as the royal family does ; and 
what I aimed at was only to go sometimes when 
my health required it, to take the air. Mrs. Dunch 
has been likewise permitted the same favour, who 
lives at Whitehall. When I found the Duchess 
of Buckingham went through (being so ill that 
I could not bear the jolting of a coach upon the 
stones when I wanted to take the air), I wrote to 
the princess to obtain this favour for me. She 
wrote to me in half an hour, with a great deal of 
goodness, and would not send me a refusal till she 
had tried several times, and there is no doubt but 
Sir Robert knew this, who might have prevented 
me troubling her Royal Highness at all (as it was 
natural for any man that had any gentlemanlike 
qualities), by asking the king's leave long before 
anything of this happened ; and he certainly should 


have done it without giving me any trouble but 
to thank him for his civility, for it was a small 
favour, and what some ministers formerly would 
have thought right to have done upon their mas- 
ter's account, without any view of obliging me 
in it." 

These allusions to the exclusiveness of St. 
James's Park, in the reign of George the First, 
are not a little curious; but it is still more re- 
markable to find the queen of King George the 
Second entertaining a serious intention of exclud- 
ing the public altogether from the park, and con- 
verting it into a garden, which was to be an 
appanage to the palace. When this project was 
first contemplated by her, she inquired of Sir 
Robert Walpole what he considered would be 
the cost of the undertaking. " Madam," was the 
significant reply, "only three crowns." 

Horace Walpole has bequeathed us a curious 
anecdote in connection with Maryborough House 
and its imperious mistress. When, in 1734, the 
Prince of Orange arrived in England for the pur- 
pose of espousing the Princess Anne, daughter of 
George the Second, a large boarded gallery was 
erected, for the convenience of the company, in the 
courtyard of St. James's, between the windows 
of the principal drawing-room and the German 
chapel. The ceremony being delayed in conse- 
quence of the prince being seized with illness, 
and the physicians ordering him to Bath for the 


benefit of his health, the gallery, for several weeks, 
was allowed to remain, darkening the windows of 
Marlborough House. Alluding to this circum- 
stance, the duchess observed, with some humour, 
to one of her friends : " I wonder when my neigh- 
bour George will take away his orange-chest." 
According to Walpole, the gallery nearly resem- 
bled the article to which the duchess compared it. 
It was at Marlborough House that the celebrated 
duchess breathed her last in 1744. 

The mall in St. James's Park continued to be 
the most fashionable promenade in London as 
late as 1750, if not at a much later period. In 
a letter to George Montagu, dated June 23, 1750, 
Horace Walpole describes the gay scene in his 
happiest manner. "I had a card," he writes, 
"from Lady Caroline Petersham to go with her 
to Vauxhall. I went accordingly to her house, 
and found her and the little Ashe, or the Pollard 
Ashe, as they call her ; they had just finished 
their last layer of red, and looked as handsome as 
crimson could make them. We issued into the 
mall to assemble our company, which was all the 
town, if we could get it ; for just so many had 
been summoned, except Harry Vane, whom we 
met by chance. We mustered the Duke of Kings- 
ton, with whom Lady Caroline says she has been 
toying for these seven years ; but, alas ! his beauty 
is at the fall of the leaf ; Lord March, Mr. Whit- 
head, a pretty Miss Beauclerc, and a very foolish 


Miss Sparre. These two damsels were trusted 
by their mother, for the first time of their lives, 
to the matronly care of Lady Caroline. As we 
sailed up the mall with all our colours flying, 
Lord Petersham, with his hose and legs twisted 
to every point of crossness, strode by us on the 
outside, and repassed again on the return. At 
the end of the mall she called to him ; he would 
not answer : she gave a familiar spring, and, be- 
tween laugh and confusion, ran up to him, 'My 
lord, my lord ! why, you don't see us ! ' We 
advanced at a little distance, not a little awkward 
in expectation how all this would end, for my 
lord never stirred his hat, or took the least notice 
of anybody ; she said, ' Do you go with us, or are 
you going anywhere else ? ' 'I don't go with you, 
I am going somewhere else ; ' and away he stalked, 
as sulky as a ghost that nobody will speak to 

We are tempted to transcribe the sequel of the 
evening's adventure, even though it compels us 
to follow the gay party as far as Vauxhall. " We 
got into the best order we could," adds Walpole, 
" and marched to our barge, with a boat of French 
horns attending, and little Ashe singing. We 
paraded some time up the river, and at last de- 
barked at Vauxhall ; there, if we had so pleased, 
we might have had the vivacity of our party 
increased by a quarrel ; for a Mrs. Lloyd, who 
is supposed to be married to Lord Haddington, 


seeing the two girls following Lady Petersham 
and Miss Ashe, said aloud, < Poor girls, I am 
sorry to see them in such bad company ! ' Miss 
Sparre, who desired nothing so much as the fun 
of seeing a duel, a thing which, though she is 
fifteen, she has never been so lucky to see, took 
due pains to make Lord March resent this; but 
he, who is very lively and agreeable, laughed her 
out of this charming frolic with a great deal of 
humour. Here we picked up Lord Granby, arrived 
very drunk from Jenny's Whim ; ' where, instead 
of going to old Stafford's catacombs to make 
honourable love, he had dined with Lady Fanny, 
and left her and eight other women and four other 
men playing at brag. He would fain have made 
over his honourable love upon any terms to poor 
Miss Beauclerc, who is very modest, and who did 
not know what to do at all with his whispers or 
his hands. He then addressed himself to the 
Sparre, who was very well disposed to receive 
both ; but the tide of champagne turned ; he 
hiccuped at the reflection of his marriage (of 
which he is wondrous sick), and only proposed to 
the girl to shut themselves up and rail at the 
world for three weeks. If all the adventures 
don't conclude as you expect in the beginning of 
a paragraph, you must not wonder, for I am not 
making a history, but relating one strictly as it 

1 A tavern at the end of the wooden bridge, at Chelsea, at 
that time much frequented by men of fashion. 


happened, and I think with full entertainment 
enough to content you. At last we assembled 
in our booth, Lady Caroline in the front, with the 
vizor of her hat erect, and looking gloriously jolly 
and handsome. She had fetched my brother 
Orford from the next box, where he was enjoying 
himself with his petite partie, to help us to mince 
chickens. We minced seven chickens in a China 
dish, which Lady Caroline stewed over a lamp 
with three pats of butter and a flagon of water, 
stirring, and rattling, and laughing, and we every 
minute expecting to have the dish fly about our 
ears. She had brought Betty, the fruit-girl, with 
hampers of strawberries and cherries from Rogers's, 
and made her wait upon us, and then made her 
sup by us at a little table. The conversation was 
no less lively than the whole transaction. There 
was a Mr. O'Brien arrived from Ireland, who 
would get the Duchess of Manchester from Mr. 
Hussey, if she were still at liberty. I took up 
the biggest hautboy on the dish, and said to 
Lady Caroline, 'Madam, Miss Ashe desires you 
would eat this O'Brien strawberry.' She replied 
immediately, ' I won't, you hussey.' You may 
imagine the laugh this reply occasioned. After 
the tempest was a little calmed, the Pollard said, 
'Now, how anybody would spoil this story that 
was to repeat it, and say, I won't, you jade.' In 
short, the whole air of our party was sufficient, 
as you may easily imagine, to take up the whole 


attention of the garden; so much so, that, from 
eleven o'clock till half an hour after one, we had 
the whole concourse around our booth. At last, 
they came into the little gardens of each booth 
on the sides of ours, till Harry Vane took up a 
bumper, and drank their healths, and was proceed- 
ing to treat them with still greater freedom. It 
was three o'clock before we got home." 

Spring Gardens, at the east end of the mall in 
St. James's Park, derives its name from certain 
gardens, or pleasure-grounds, which were laid out 
here about the reign of James the First, and in 
which there were several springs of excellent 
water. It is remarkable that every house in what 
is called " Spring Garden Terrace," has still a 
well attached to it. In the reign of Charles the 
First, we find a servant of the Crown licensed to 
keep an ordinary and bowling-green in the Spring 

The bowling-green in Spring Gardens was the 
frequent resort of the unfortunate Charles the 
First. When his celebrated favourite, the first 
Villiers, Duke of Buckingham, was in the height 
of his unpopularity, Charles was one day saunter- 
ing with him in the Spring Gardens, watching his 
favourite game of bowls, when they were ap- 
proached by a Scotchman, who for some time had 
been narrowly watching them. Of all the com- 
pany, the haughty Buckingham was the only per- 
son who retained his hat on his head in the presence 


of his sovereign. The Scotchman, having first of 
all kissed the duke's hand, suddenly snatched off 
his hat, exclaiming, " Off with your hat before the 
king." Buckingham, we are told, instantly gave 
the Scotchman a kick, and probably in his wrath 
would have proceeded to further lengths had not 
the king interposed. "Let him alone, George," 
he said, "he is either mad or a fool." "No, sir," 
said the offender, "I am a sober man, and if your 
Majesty would give me leave, I will tell you that 
of this man which many know, and none dare 

About six years after this singular occurrence, 
we find the amusements in the Spring Gardens 
suppressed by royal command. Mr. Garrard 
writes to the Earl of Stafford in 1634: "The 
bowling-green in the Spring Gardens was put 
down one day by the king's command ; but by 
the intercession of the queen it was reopened for 
this year ; but hereafter it shall be no common 
bowling-place. There was kept an ordinary of 
six shillings a meal (where the king's proclamation 
allows but two elsewhere), continual bibbing and 
drinking under all trees ; two or three quarrels 
every week. It was grown scandalous and in- 
sufferable; besides my Lord Digby, being appre- 
hended for striking in the king's garden, he said 
he took it for a common bowling-place." From a 
subsequent letter from Mr. Garrard, we find that 
the king's edict was carried rigorously into effect. 


"Since the Spring Garden," he writes, "was put 
down, we have, by a servant of the lord chamber- 
lain's, a new Spring Garden erected in the fields 
behind the Meuse, where is built a fair house and 
two bowling-greens, made to entertain gamesters 
and bowlers to an excessive rate, for I believe it 
has cost him ^400, a dear undertaking for a 
gentleman barber." 

The Spring Gardens could have remained closed 
only a few years, for, in 1649, we find Evelyn 
"treating divers ladies of his relations" here. 
However, after the death of Charles the First, the 
public were again excluded from them. Evelyn 
writes : " Lady Oliver Gerrard treated us at Mul- 
berry Garden, now the only place of refreshment 
about the town for persons of the best quality to 
be exceedingly cheated at, Cromwell and his parti- 
sans having shut up and seized on Spring Gardens, 
which till now had been the usual rendezvous for 
ladies and gallants at this season." We have 
already mentioned that Charles the First, when 
on his way to the scaffold, pointed out a tree in 
Spring Gardens as having been planted by his 
brother Henry. There is a tradition also, that, 
on the same melancholy occasion, he stopped to 
drink a glass of water at one of the springs. 

At the Restoration of Charles the Second, 
the Spring Gardens were reopened with increased 
incentives to extravagance and profligacy, and, 
during the reign of the merry monarch, continued 


to be the favourite resort of his gay courtiers. 
In connection with the annals of gallantry in 
the reign of Charles, Count Hamilton, in his 
"Memoires de Grammont," gives an account of a 
remarkable fracas which took place here between 
Henry Jermyn, nephew of the Earl of St. Albans, 
and Thomas Howard, brother of the Earl of Car- 
lisle. They were rival candidates for the favours 
of the beautiful but profligate Countess of Shrews- 
bury, whose husband was afterward killed in the 
memorable duel with the second Villiers, Duke 
of Buckingham, on which occasion she is said to 
have held the horse of her paramour in the dress 
of a page, and afterward to have slept with him 
in his bloody shirt. " Lady Shrewsbury," writes 
Count Hamilton, "inconsiderately returning the 
first ogles of the invincible Jermyn, did not make 
herself more agreeable to Howard ; this, however, 
she paid little attention to ; yet, as she designed 
to keep fair with him, she consented to accept an 
entertainment which he had often proposed, and 
which she could no longer refuse. A place of 
amusement, called Spring Garden, was fixed upon 
for the scene of this entertainment. As soon 
as the party was settled, Jermyn was privately 
informed of it. Howard had a company in the 
guards, and one of the soldiers of his company 
played pretty well on the bagpipes ; this soldier 
was therefore at the entertainment. Jermyn was 
at the garden as by chance, and, puffed up with his 


former successes, he trusted to his victorious air 
for accomplishing this last enterprise. He no 
sooner appeared on the walks than her Ladyship 
showed herself upon the balcony. 

" I know not how she stood affected to her 
hero ; but Howard did not fancy him much. This 
did not prevent his coming up-stairs upon the 
first sign she made to him ; and not content with 
acting the petty tyrant at an entertainment not 
made for himself, no sooner had he gained the 
soft looks of the fair one than he exhausted all his 
commonplace and stock of low irony in railing 
at the entertainment and ridiculing the music. 
Howard had but little turn for raillery, and still 
less patience. Three times was the banquet on 
the point of being stained with blood, but as often 
did he suppress his natural impetuosity in order to 
satisfy his resentment elsewhere with greater free- 
dom. Jermyn, without paying the least regard to 
his ill-humour, pursued his point, continued talking 
to Lady Shrewsbury, and did not leave her until 
the repast was ended. He went to bed proud of 
his triumph, and was waked next morning by a 
challenge. He took for his second Giles Rawlings, 
a man of intrigue and a deep player. Howard 
took Dillon, who was dexterous and brave, much 
of a gentleman, and, unfortunately, an intimate 
friend of Rawlings. In this duel fortune did not 
side with the votaries of love : poor Rawlings was 
left stone dead ; and Jermyn, having received three 


wounds, was carried to his uncle's, with very little 
signs of life." 

In the time of the Commonwealth, Milton had 
a house in Charing Cross which overlooked the 
Spring Gardens. It was also at his house in 
Spring Gardens that Prince Rupert breathed his 
last, on the 2Qth of November, 1684. Here, also, 
died the celebrated dramatic writer, Mrs. Centlivre, 
whose genius and strange adventures have ren- 
dered her name so familiar to us. 

From Spring Gardens let us pass down the mall 
to Buckingham Palace. Not far from the present 
Buckingham Gate stood Tart Hall and the Mul- 
berry Garden ; the latter being planted in 1609, 
by order of James the First, with the view of pro- 
ducing silk in England. With this object he caused 
several shiploads of mulberry-trees to be imported 
from France ; and, in 1629, we find a grant made 
to Walter, Lord Aston, appointing him to "the 
custody of the garden, mulberry-trees, and silk- 
worms, near St. James's, in the county of Middle- 
sex." The speculation proving a failure, the 
Mulberry Garden, within a few years, was con- 
verted into a place of fashionable amusement. 
Doctor King writes, about the time of the Pro- 
tectorate : 

" The fate of things lies always in the dark : 
What cavalier would know St. James's Park ? 
For Locket's stands where gardens once did spring, 
And wild ducks quack where grasshoppers did sing ; 


A princely palace on that space does rise, 
Where Sudley's noble muse found mulberries." 

The Mulberry Garden, according to Malone, 
was the favourite resort of the immortal Dryden, 
where he used to eat mulberry tarts with his 
mistress, Mrs. Anne Reeve. 

" Nor he, whose essence, wit, and taste, approved, 
Forget the mulberry-tarts which Dryden loved." 
Pursuits of Literature. 

The " princely palace " alluded to in Doctor 
King's verses was doubtless Tart Hall, which was 
built in 1638, by Nicholas Stone, for Alathea, 
Countess of Arundel. After her death it became 
the residence of her ill-fated son, William, Lord 
Stafford, one of the victims of the perjuries of 
Titus Gates during the Popish Plot of 1680. From 
this nobleman, Stafford Place and Stafford Row, 
Pimlico, which stand on the site of part of the 
garden, derive their names. In the old mansion 
were preserved the famous Arundel marbles ; and 
it was in the garden that they were buried during 
the excitement occasioned by the Popish Plot, it 
being dreaded that they would fall a sacrifice to 
the fury of the mob, whose ignorance taught them 
to believe that they were images of popish saints. 

On the site of the present Buckingham Palace 
stood Arlington House, the residence of Henry 
Bennet, Earl of Arlington, one of the famous 


Cabal in the reign of Charles the Second, and the 
"Achitophel" of Dryden's immortal poem. 

" For close designs and crooked counsels fit ; 
Sagacious, bold, and turbulent of wit; 
Restless, unfixed in principles and place, 
In power unpleased, impatient of disgrace ; 
A fiery soul, which, working out its way, 
Fretted the pigmy body to decay, 
And o'er-informed the tenement of clay," etc. 

Arlington House was pulled down by the no 
less celebrated John Sheffield, Duke of Bucking- 
ham, who erected on its site, in 1703, the vast 
mansion which, within the last few years, has been 
displaced by the present Buckingham Palace. His 
mode of living in his princely residence; its ad- 
vantages and unusual splendour, as well as his 
own personal habits, the duke has himself de- 
scribed in a well-known letter, which he addressed 
to the Duke of Shrewsbury. Here it was that he 
died, and from hence his remains were conveyed, 
with great magnificence, to Henry the Seventh's 
Chapel, at Westminster. 

After the death of the duke, Buckingham House 
became the residence of his widow, the fantastic 
Catherine Darnley, illegitimate daughter of James 
the Second, by the celebrated Catherine Sedley, 
Countess of Dorchester. Here it was, on each 
anniversary of the execution of her grandfather, 
Charles the First, that she was accustomed to hold 
a solemn fast day, when, surrounded by a theatri- 


cal display of mournful grandeur, she received her 
guests in the great drawing-room of Buckingham 
House, the duchess herself being seated in a chair 
of state, clad in the deepest mourning, surrounded 
by her women, as black and dismal-looking as her- 
self. Here, too, it was, that this eccentric lady 
breathed her last. Horace Walpole writes to Sir 
Horace Mann, the day following her death : "Prin- 
cess Buckingham is dead or dying; she has sent 
for Mr. Anstis, and settled the ceremonial of her 
burial. On Saturday she was so ill that she feared 
dying before the pomp was come home. She said, 
'Why don't they send the canopy for me to see ? 
Let them send it though all the tassels are not 
finished/ But yesterday was the greatest stroke 
of all. She made her ladies vow to her that, if 
she should lie senseless, they would not sit down 
in the room before she was dead." By her own 
directions she was buried with great pomp in 
Henry the Seventh's Chapel, where there was 
formerly a waxen figure of her, adorned with 
jewels, prepared in her lifetime by her own hands. 
In 1761 Buckingham House was purchased by 
the Crown for twenty-one thousand pounds, and 
was settled upon Queen Charlotte for her life. 

James Street, Buckingham Gate, overlooking 
St James's Park, is not without interest. It was 
in one of the houses in this street that the well- 
known historian, Bishop Kennett, expired ; and it 
was in another that the secret interview took place 


between the great Duke of Marlborough and the 
celebrated Harley, Earl of Oxford, when the dis- 
covery of the disgraceful negotiations between the 
duke and the French king placed the life of 
the former in the hands of the English minister. 
The curious fact of their secret interview was 
related by Erasmus Lewis, the faithful secretary 
of Lord Oxford, to Carte, the historian. "They 
had a meeting," says the latter, " at Thomas Har- 
ley's house in James Street, Westminster, Oxford 
coming to the street door in his coach, the Duke 
of Marlborough in a chair to the garden door 
opening into the park. It was then resolved that 
the Duke of Marlborough should go abroad/' 
The truth of this story is corroborated by Dal- 
rymple, on the authority of Gordon, the principal 
of the Scots College at Paris, who asserted that 
the Earl of Oxford under pretence of being in 
the interests of the exiled family got posses- 
sion of the original letter addressed by Marlbor- 
ough to the ex-king, James the Second, in which 
he traitorously communicated the expedition pro- 
jected by the English government against Brest. 
"It is known," writes Dalrymple, "that there was 
a private meeting between the duke and Lord 
Oxford, at Mr. Thomas Harley's house, to which 
the duke came by a back door ; immediately after 
which he quitted England." Such is a part of 
the secret history of the circumstances which led 
to the memorable exile of the great Duke of Marl- 


borough, at the close of the reign of Queen 

At No. 2 James Street lived Glover, the author 
of "Leonidas," and I believe this is the same 
house which was afterward occupied by Gifford, 
the translator of "Juvenal," and editor of the 
Quarterly Review. 

The ground between James Street and Tothill 
Street, Westminster, was formerly known as 
Petty France. Here it was, on quitting his resi- 
dence in Scotland Yard, that Milton removed to 
a "garden house," opening into St. James's Park, 
next door to the Lord Scudamore's ; here it was 
that he lost his second wife, who died in childbed, 
and to whose death we owe one of the most beau- 
tiful of his sonnets, 

" Methought I saw my late espoused saint, 
Brought to me, like Alcestis, from the grave," etc., 

and here it was that the great poet became to- 
tally blind. Milton resided in Petty France from 
1652 till within a short time before the Restoration 
of Charles the Second in 1660; when, foreseeing 
the danger which awaited him in the event of a 
change of dynasty, he sought refuge in the house 
of a friend in Bartholomew Close. Here he re- 
mained concealed till he found himself included in 
the general amnesty, when he removed to a house 
in Holborn, near Red Lion Square, and shortly 
afterward to Jewin Street. 


Close to the spot which must have been the site 
of Milton's residence is Queen's Square, where 
the celebrated Jeremy Bentham lived and died ; 
and a little to the east is Storey's Gate, formerly 
called Storehouse Gate, from a storehouse of the 
ordnance having formerly stood here. Almost 
immediately facing Buckingham Palace, and ad- 
joining Storey's Gate, the houses on the western 
side of Duke Street, Westminster, look into the 
park. The chapel a conspicuous object as we 
pass from the Bird-cage Walk was originally 
a wing of the mansion of the infamous Judge 
Jeffries, and it was by the particular favour of 
his sovereign, James the Second, that he was 
allowed to construct the flight of steps which still 
lead into the park. The house in Duke Street 
was afterward purchased by the government from 
the son of Lord Jeffries, and was used as the 
Admiralty office, till the erection of the present 
unsightly building in Whitehall. 

Let us pass from the park through Storey's 
Gate into Westminster. 




Westminster, King Street Residence of Spenser, Carew, Lord 
Dorset, Cromwell Great Plague Mrs. Oldfield Down- 
ing Street Gardiner's Lane Cannon Row St. Marga- 
ret's Church The Sanctuary. 

THE old city of Westminster with its venera- 
ble abbey, its remains of the ancient palace of the 
Saxon kings, and its gloomy and narrow streets, 
once the residence of peers, courtiers, and poets 
constitutes, perhaps, the most interesting dis- 
trict of the great metropolis. We have the sanc- 
tuary, too, famous in history, the beautiful but 
mouldering cloisters of the old abbey, the Al- 
monry, anciently called the Eleemosynary, where 
the monks distributed alms to the poor, and where 
Caxton, under the auspices of Bishop Islip, estab- 
lished the first printing-press in England; and, 
lastly, we have still left to us Westminster Hall, 
with all its host of historical associations. 

Fashion, or rather an entire change in the rank 
and character of its inhabitants, has revolutionised 


the aspect of the streets of Westminster far more 
than time. It was only yesterday that the author 
made a pilgrimage through its confined streets and 
dingy alleys, and, with one single exception, he 
found every street which he was in search of bear- 
ing the same name by which it was distinguished 
two centuries ago. Milton, Spenser, Herrick, Ben 
Jonson, Davenant, Dorset, with how many of 
the greatest or the sweetest of our national poets 
are those streets associated ! To the author, the 
most pleasing part of his labours in composing 
the present work has been to search out the haunts 
and they generally comprise the calamities 
of departed genius, 

" Free from the crowd, each hallowed spot I roam, 
Where genius found a death-bed or a home ; 
While memory lingers on each honoured name, 
Through life despised, yet heirs to endless fame ; 
Children of fancy, famine, and despair, 
Whose drink was tears, whose daily bread was care ; 
Ambition's playthings, o'er whose sacred dust 
Relenting Time has reared the tardy bust. 
Here Dryden's genius soared its lofty flight, 
There fancy blazed through Milton's darkened sight ; 
These walls still speak of Goldsmith's mournful tale ; 
Here Spenser starved ; there Rushworth died in jail ; 
Here Otway's fate yon frowning Tower recalls ; 
Here Gay was nursed in Queensberry's ducal halls ; 
Those walls, where Prior was beloved of yore, 
Received with rapture one true poet more. 
Here, in this chamber, Congreve's hours were blest, 
With blooming Wortley for his evening guest ; 


Here Oldfield's beaming eyes and quiet mirth 
Threw love and laughter o'er the poet's hearth ; 
Here flashed his wit, and here the poet died, 
Marlborough's young duchess weeping by his side ; 
Reversed for him the bard's proverbial doom, 
Through life beloved, and wept o'er in the tomb." 

-/ H. /. 

Previous to the building of the present Parliament 
Street, late in the last century, King Street con- 
stituted the only thoroughfare between the cities 
of London and Westminster ; and such was its 
miserable state that, to a late period, on the 
days on which the sovereign opened or dissolved 
Parliament, fagots were thrown into the ruts to 
render the passage of the ponderous state-coach 
more easy. When we consider this circumstance, 
it is not a little curious, in glancing over the " New 
View of London," published in 1708, to find King 
Street dignified as "the most spacious street and 
principal for trade in Westminster, being between 
the gate at the south end of the Privy Garden and 
the Abbey Yard." It may be mentioned that the 
gate here alluded to was not the one designed by 
Holbein, which we shall describe in our notices 
of Whitehall, but a smaller one which spanned 
King Street immediately to the north of where 
Downing Street now stands. The latter originally 
formed a part of the palace of Whitehall, and in 
the reign of Charles the First contained the apart- 
ments of the beautiful and intriguing Mary, Count- 


ess of Buckingham, the mother of the great favour- 
ite, George Villiers, Duke of Buckingham. She 
died in the "Gatehouse Whitehall," in 1632, and 
from hence her body was conveyed with great 
pomp to Westminster Abbey, where it lies beside 
the murdered remains of her ill-fated son. 

King Street is replete with interesting associa- 
tions. Either in this gloomy thoroughfare, or in 
the streets which diverge from it, have lived or 
died many illustrious persons whose names are 
familiar to us in the literary or historical annals of 
our country ; moreover, through this mean thor- 
oughfare the majority of our kings, since the 
Conquest, have passed to their coronations at 
Westminster, and not a few of them subsequently 
to their tombs in the abbey. 

The first illustrious name with which King Street 
is associated is that of Edmund Spenser. When 
Tyrone's rebellion burst forth in Ireland in 1598, 
the political opinions of the great poet rendered 
him so obnoxious to the infuriated insurgents that 
his only hope for safety was in an immediate 
flight. He had scarcely turned his back on his 
beloved home at Kilcolman, when the rebels took 
possession of it ; his goods were carried off ; the 
house was set on fire, and an infant child, whom 
he had been compelled to leave behind in the con- 
fusion of his flight, perished in the flames. Ruined 
and broken-hearted, the great poet flew to Eng- 
land, and, on his arrival in the vast metropolis, 


took up his abode in a small inn or lodging-house 
in King Street, Westminster. The circumstances 
of his end are too painful to reflect upon. Drum- 
mond of Hawthornden tells us, in his " Conversa- 
tions with Ben Jon son : " " Ben Jon son told me 
that Spenser's goods were robbed by the Irish in 
Tyrone's rebellion, his house and a little child of 
his burnt, and he and his wife merely escaped ; 
that he afterward died in King Street by absolute 
want of bread ; and that he refused twenty pieces 
sent him by the Earl of Essex, and gave this 
answer to the person who brought them, ' that he 
was sure he had no time to spend them.' ' 

Such was the end of that great poet, of whom 
Dryden said, " No man was ever born with a 
greater genius, or had more knowledge to support 
it ; " whom Thomson, the author of the " Seasons," 
confessedly took as his model ; whom Joseph War- 
ton ranked in erudition next to Milton ; whom 
Milton ^himself was not ashamed to confess as 
his original ; of whom Cowley tells us that he 
was " made a poet " by reading Spenser ; of whom 
Pope tells us that he read the " Faerie Queene " 
"with a vast deal of delight," when he was twelve 
years, and that he read it with no less pleasure 
after the lapse of nearly half a century ; and, 
lastly, of whom Gibbon says (I quote from mem- 
ory) : " The armorial shield of the Spensers 
may be emblazoned with the triumphs of a Marl- 
borough, but I exhort them to look upon the 


'Fairie Queene' as the proudest jewel in their 

The poet, as we have seen, died in a miserable 
lodging-house of absolute want of bread ; but, as 
is often the fate of genius, the breath had scarcely 
departed from his body when the great, the titled, 
and the powerful came forward to do honour to 
his memory, and to shower laurels on his grave. 
His remains were carried in state from King Street 
to Westminster ; the expenses of his funeral were 
defrayed by the great favourite, the Earl of Essex. 
" His hearse," says Camden, "was attended by poets 
and mournful elegies ; and poems, with the pens 
that wrote them, were thrown into his tomb ; " 
and, lastly, the celebrated Anne, Countess of Dor- 
set, erected the monument over his grave. 

" Oh ! it sickens the heart to see bosoms so hollow, 
And spirits so mean in the great and high-born; 
To think what a long line of titles may follow 
The relics of him who died friendless and lorn ! 

" How proud they can press to the funeral array 
Of one, whom they shunned in his sickness and 

sorrow : 
The bailiffs may seize his last blanket to-day, 

Whose pall shall be held up by nobles to-morrow ! " 

One would like to be able to point out the 
house in King Street in which once resided the 
courtier and poet, Thomas Carew, the most grace- 
ful poet of the reign of Charles the First, and 


afterward the faithful adherent of his unfortunate 
master. Here it was that Ben Jonson, Sir Will- 
iam Davenant, May, the translator of Lucan's 
"Pharsalia," and Sir John Suckling were his fre- 
quent guests. His burial-place is unknown, and 
even the year of his death is a disputed point; 
but the beautiful song, 

" He that loves a rosy cheek, 
Or a coral lip admires," etc., 

will continue to be read and appreciated as long 
as the English language shall remain in existence. 
In King Street, too, lived the witty and accom- 
plished Charles, Lord Buckhurst, afterward Earl 
of Dorset. 

" For pointed satire I would Buckhurst choose, 
The best good man with the worst-natured muse." 

This was a high compliment from Rochester to 
his friend, and he afterward said of him, " I know 
not how it is, but my Lord Dorset can do any- 
thing, and yet is never to blame." This was the 
Lord Dorset so celebrated in his youth for his 
frolics and debaucheries, and in later years for 
all the virtues and accomplishments which throw 
a dignity on human nature. " He was the first 
nobleman," says Horace Walpole, "in the voluptu- 
ous court of Charles the Second, and in the gloomy 
one of King William. He had as much wit as 
his first master, or his contemporaries, Buckingham 


and Rochester, without the royal want of feeling, 
the duke's want of principles, or the earl's want 
of thought." "Lord Dorset," says Bishop Bur- 
net, "was so lazy, that, though the king seemed 
to court him to be a favourite, he would not give 
himself the trouble that belonged to that post." 
Lord Dorset is now, perhaps, principally remem- 
bered from his famous song, "To all you ladies 
now on land," addressed to the ladies of the gay 
court of Charles the Second, and composed at 
sea, with singular tranquillity of mind, on the day 
before the great sea fight in 1665, in which 
Opdam, the Dutch admiral, was blown up with 
all his crew : 

" To all you ladies now on land, 

We men at sea indite ; 
But first would have you understand 

How hard it is to write : 
The Muses now, and Neptune too, 
We must implore to write to you, 

With a fa, la, la, la, la," etc. 

I have seldom passed through King Street with- 
out calling to mind, with a melancholy interest, 
that it was through this narrow thoroughfare that 
the unfortunate Charles the First was conducted 
on the first and last days of his memorable trial 
in Westminster Hall. On the first occasion he 
was brought from St. James's through the park 
in a sedan-chair, and thence through King Street, 
which was lined on each side with soldiers, his 


faithful follower, Herbert, the only person who 
was allowed to attend him, walking by the side 
of the sedan-chair bareheaded. After his condem- 
nation the king was reconducted in the same con- 
veyance, and by the same route, to Whitehall. As 
he passed through King Street, we are told, the 
inhabitants unawed by the presence of the sol- 
diery stood at their stalls and windows, many 
of them with tears in their eyes, and, as they 
gazed on the painful sight of fallen majesty, offered 
up audible prayers for his safety or eternal welfare. 
It is curious to find that at the time of 
Charles's execution Oliver Cromwell was residing 
in King Street, and it was at this house that he 
entered his coach and six, amidst the cheers of 
the populace, when he set off, six months after 
the death of the king, to commence his famous 
and bloody campaign in Ireland. "This evening, 
about five of the clock, the Lord Lieutenant of 
Ireland began his journey by the way of Wind- 
sor, and so to Bristol. He went forth in that state 
and equipage as the like hath hardly been seen : 
himself in a coach with six gallant Flanders mares, 
whitish gray, divers coaches accompanying him, 
and very many great officers of the army ; his life- 
guard consisting of eighty gallant men, the mean- 
est whereof a commander or esquire, in stately 
habit, with trumpets sounding almost to the shak- 
ing of Charing Cross had it been now standing. 
Of his life-guard many are colonels, and, believe it. 


it's such a guard as is hardly to be paralleled in 
the world." The house which is believed to have 
been the residence of Cromwell has only within 
the present century been rased to the ground. 

Not many years after the death of Charles, 
when Cromwell had invested himself with the 
power and pageantry of his royal victim, he was 
one day passing through King Street in his coach, 
on his way from Whitehall to Westminster, when 
he experienced one of those alarms that the 
hand of the assassin was poised above him 
with which, not without reason, he was con- 
stantly haunted at the close of his extraordinary 
career. The companion of the Protector in the 
coach was Richard, Lord Broghill, afterward Earl 
of Orrery, on whose authority Morrice, his chap- 
lain and biographer, thus relates the anecdote : 
" At one particular time it happened the crowd 
of people was so great that the coach could not 
go forward, and the place was so narrow that all 
the halberdiers were either before the coach or 
behind it, none of them having room to stand by 
the side. While they were in this posture, Lord 
Broghill observed the door of a cobbler's stall to 
open and shut a little, and at every opening of it 
his lordship saw something bright, like a drawn 
sword or a pistol. Upon which rny lord drew out 
his sword with the scabbard on it, and struck 
upon the stall, asking who was there. This was 
no sooner done, but a tall man burst out with a 


sword by his side, and Cromwell was so much 
frightened that he called his guard to seize him ; 
but the man got away in the crowd. My lord 
thought him to be an officer in the army of 
Ireland, whom he remembered Cromwell had 
disgusted ; and his lordship apprehended he lay 
there in wait to kill him. Upon this, Cromwell 
forbore to come any more that way, but a little 
time after sickened and died." 

The next occasion on which Cromwell passed 
through King Street was to his grave in West- 
minster Abbey. The funeral procession was a 
magnificent one, and this, as well as the other 
streets through which it passed, was strewed with 
gravel, and lined on each side by soldiers, in " red 
coats and black buttons," with their regimental 
colours enclosed in cypress. The hearse, which 
was open, was adorned with plumes and escutch- 
eons, and was drawn by six horses in trappings of 
black velvet. On it reclined a recumbent waxen 
effigy of the late Protector, habited in the robes 
of royalty, with a crown on its head, and the globe 
and sceptre in its hands. At the head and feet 
of the figure were placed two seats, on each of 
which sat a gentleman of the bedchamber. A 
velvet pall, extending on each side of the carriage, 
was borne by several persons of distinction ; and, 
in this solemn state, the body of the once simple- 
minded country gentleman was conducted to the 
great western entrance of the abbey, where it was 


received by the clergy, and was left for a brief 
while to rest undisturbed by the side of the ashes 
of our ancient kings. 

During the great plague in 1665, King Street 
was one of the places which was first visited by 
the giant pestilence. Its vicinity to the palace 
of Whitehall the appalling sight of the red 
cross, and the " Lord, have mercy upon us," 
painted upon the doors terrified the neigh- 
bouring inhabitants of the palace, and Charles 
the Second departed with his voluptuous court 
to breathe the purer air of Oxford. Pepys inserts 
in his diary on the 2Oth of June : " This day I 
informed myself that there died four or five at 
Westminster of the plague, in several houses, upon 
Sunday last, in Bell Alley, over against the Palace 
Gate ; " and on the following day he writes : " I 
find all the town going out of town, the coaches 
and carriages being all full of people going into 
the country." Again, on the 28th, he writes : "In 
my way to Westminster Hall, I observed several 
plague-houses in King Street and the palace;" 
and on the 29th, " To Whitehall, where the court 
was full of wagons and people ready to go out 
of town. This end of the town every day grows 
very bad of the plague." " For some weeks," says 
Lingard, " the tide of emigration flowed from every 
outlet toward the country ; it was checked, at last, 
by the refusal of the lord mayor to grant certifi- 
cates of health, and by the neighbouring town- 


ships, which rose in their own defence, and formed 
a barrier around the devoted city." 

King Street is intimately connected with the 
strange fortunes of the beautiful and accomplished 
actress, Mrs. Oldfield. She was the daughter of 
a Captain Oldfield, who held a commission in the 
life guards, whose extravagance having reduced his 
widow to a state of extreme penury, the latter was 
compelled to seek an asylum in the house of her 
sister, Mrs. Voss, who kept the Mitre Tavern in 
St. James's Market, and who was apparently the 
Mrs. Voss once well known as the mistress of 
Sir Godfrey Kneller. In consequence of her re- 
duced circumstances, Mrs. Oldfield was compelled 
to apprentice her beautiful daughter to Mrs. Wot- 
ton, a sempstress in King Street, from whom she 
occasionally obtained permission to visit her mother 
and aunt in St. James's Market. The great en- 
joyment of the young girl was in reading plays, 
and she was one day entertaining her relations at 
the Mitre with reading aloud to them, when the 
musical sweetness of her voice caught the ear of 
the celebrated dramatic writer, George Farquhar, 
who happened to be dining at the tavern, and who, 
after listening at the door for a few moments, 
entered the apartment. Struck with her surpass- 
ing grace and beauty, and the peculiar talent 
which she displayed for the stage, Farquhar, in 
conjunction with Sir John Vanbrugh, introduced 
her to Rich, the patentee of Drury Lane, and, at 

ZMrs. Oldfield. 

Photo-etching after the painting by Richardson. 


the age of sixteen, she made her appearance in 
public as Candiope in Dryden's play of " Secret 
Love," with a salary of fifteen shillings a week ! 
It was at a time extremely favourable for the 
de"but of a young actress. Mrs. Cross had just 
eloped from the theatre with a gay baronet ; Mrs. 
Vanbruggen had recently died in childbed ; and 
Mrs. Barry and Mrs. Bracegirdle had just retired 
from the stage. Miss Oldfield subsequently per- 
formed the character of Lady Surewell in Far- 
quhar's comedy of the " Constant Couple," in which 
she was so successful that the play had a run of 
fifty-one nights. By this time she had grown so 
much in favour with the public that we are told 
Rich increased her salary to twenty shillings a 
week ! Nor does it seem that this charming 
actress ever received more than three hundred 
guineas a year, exactly the amount of what a 
modern actress has recently had the modesty to 
ask for performing three nights ! Walpole, speak- 
ing of her performance of Lady Betty Modish in 
the " Careless Husband," observes : " Had her 
birth placed her in a higher rank of life, she 
had certainly appeared in reality what in this 
play she only excellently acted an agreeable 
gay woman of quality, a little too conscious of 
her natural attraction. Women of the first rank 
might have borrowed some part of her behaviour, 
without the least diminution of their sense of 
dignity. The variety of her powers could not be 


known till she was seen in a variety of characters, 
which, as fast as they fell to her, she equally 
excelled in." The young actress had scarcely ap- 
peared on the stage, when her wit and beauty 
captivated the heart of Arthur Maynwaring, 
celebrated for his literary and personal accomplish- 
ments, by whom she had one son, who bore the 
baptismal and surname of his father, and who 
many years afterward followed his mother as chief 
mourner to the grave. Maynwaring dying in 1712, 
of a cold which he caught in visiting the Duchess 
of Marlborough at St. Albans, Mrs. Oldfield shortly 
afterward placed herself under the protection of 
General Charles Churchill, the son of an elder 
brother of the great Duke of Marlborough. 

" None led through youth a gayer life than he, 
Cheerful in converse, smart in repartee ; 
Sweet was his night and joyful was his day, 
He dined with Walpole, and with Oldfield lay." 

Sir C. Hanbury Williams. 

By General Churchill she had also one son, who 
married Lady Mary Walpole, a natural child of 
Sir Robert, for whom he obtained the rank of an 
earl's daughter. Their daughter Mary married 
Charles, third Earl of Cadogan, by whom she was 
the mother of the late Lady Emily Wellesley 
and the present Marchioness of Anglesea. Mrs. 
Oldfield died on the 2$d of October, 1730, at the 
age of forty-seven, and as her life had been dis- 


tinguished by many virtues, so was her end pious 
and resigned. Her remains were carried with 
considerable state to Westminster Abbey, through 
the street in which she had formerly lived a 
humble sempstress ; her pall was supported by 
some of the most distinguished men in the coun- 
try, and the high compliment was paid to her 
memory of her body being allowed to lie in state 
in the Jerusalem Chamber. She was buried toward 
the west end of the south aisle of the abbey, 
between the monuments of Craggs and Congreve, 
near the Consistory Court. After the funeral ser- 
vice had been read, alluding to the circumstance 
of none of the three having been ever married, 
a bystander was indecent enough to throw into 
the grave a slip of paper, on which the following 
lines were written in pencil : 

" If penance in the bishop's court be feared, 
Congreve, and Craggs, and Oldfield, will be scared, 
To find that, at the Resurrection day, 
They all so near the Consistory lay." 

Mrs. Oldfield died possessed of considerable 
property in money and jewels, besides a valuable 
collection of medals, statues, and pictures. 

From this somewhat long digression let us 
turn to the streets which diverge from King 
Street, which have each their particular interest 
attached to them. These streets consist of Down- 
ing Street, Fludyer Street, anciently called Axe 


Yard, and Gardiner's Lane, all running parallel 
with one another to the west. 

In Downing Street stood the residence of the 
great and ancient family of the De Veres, Earls 
of Oxford ; and here, on the I2th of March, 1703, 
Aubrey De Vere, the twentieth and last earl, 
breathed his last. His countess, Diana Kirk, was 
the sister of the fair and frail Mary Kirk, who 
occupies so prominent a position in the pages of 
De Grammont. The earl's remains were con- 
veyed from his house in Downing Street to West- 
minster Abbey, where they were interred in St. 
John the Baptist's Chapel. 

There are only two other names of any interest, 
those of Gibbon and Boswell, with which I find 
Downing Street associated, at least if we except 
the many celebrated statesmen who have trans- 
acted business within the mean -looking public 
offices for which it is now principally celebrated. 
Here the great historian, Gibbon, mentions his 
having been frequently the guest of his friend, 
Lord Sheffield, and here James Boswell, the biog- 
rapher of Doctor Johnson, was residing in lodgings 
in 1763. 

It was in Axe Yard, now Fludyer Street, that 
the misfortune happened to the celebrated Sir 
William Davenant which cost him his nose, and 
which afforded so much food for merriment to his 
brother poets in the reign of Charles the First. 
Sir John Suckling, alluding to Davenant having 


been selected to succeed Ben Jonson as poet 
laureate, says, in his " Session of the Poets : " 

" Surely the company would have been content, 
If they could have found any precedent ; 
But in all their records, in verse or in prose, 
There was not one Laureate without a nose." 

In the same poem, Suckling attributes the loss of 
Davenant's nose to 

"... a foolish mischance, 

That he had got lately travelling in France." 

Anthony Wood, however, a more curious re- 
searcher, tells us, in his " Athenae Oxonienses : " 
"The said mischance, which Sir John mentions, 
happened to Davenant through a dalliance with a 
handsome black girl in Axe Yard in Westminster, 
on whom he thought when he spoke of Dalga in 
his 'Gondibert/ which cost him his nose; and 
thereupon some wits were too cruelly bold with 
Mm and his accident, as Sir John Mennes, Sir 
John Denham, etc." In 1659-60, we find the 
celebrated Samuel Pepys residing in Axe Yard ; 
and here, after the name had been changed to 
Fludyer Street, resided James Macpherson, the 
translator of Ossian's poems, as we learn from 
Wraxall, who mentions dining with him on more 
than one occasion in this street. 

To those who take an interest in the literary 
history of the streets of London, Gardiner's Lane 


will always be especially interesting, as being the 
spot where the celebrated Winceslaus Hollar, 
whose inimitable engravings bring back so vividly 
to us the London of the olden times, breathed his 
last. His end was such as has too often been the 
fate of genius. It is melancholy to reflect that so 
insufficiently was he rewarded for the indefatigable 
labours of a long life, that, when he was on the 
verge of his seventieth year, an execution was put 
into his house in Gardiner's Lane, and he narrowly 
escaped becoming the inmate of a jail. He desired, 
we are told, only the liberty of dying in his 
bed, and that he might not be removed to any 
other prison but his grave. His end was probably 
hastened by his misfortunes. He died on the 
28th of March, 1677, and, attended to his humble 
grave by a few friends, was buried in the new 
churchyard of St. Margaret's, near the west 
end of Tothill Street. 

Gardiner's Lane leads us into Duke Street, 
where, as we have already mentioned, stood the 
house of the infamous Lord Jeffries. Here also, 
for many years, lived the celebrated poet and poli- 
tician, Matthew Prior. To Swift he writes from 
Westminster on the 3<Dth of July, i/i7 : "I have 
been made to believe that we may see your rever- 
end person this summer in England; if so, I shall 
be glad to meet you at any place ; but when you 
come to London, do not go to the Cocoa Tree, but 
come to Duke Street, where you will find a bed, a 


book, and a candle ; so pray think of sojourning 
nowhere else." Again, Prior writes to Swift on 
the 5th of May, 1719 : "Having spent part of my 
summer very agreeably in Cambridgeshire, with 
dear Lord Harley, I am returned without him to 
my own palace in Duke Street, whence I endeav- 
our to exclude all the tumult and noise of the 
neighbouring Court of Requests, and to live aut 
nihil agenda aut aliud agenda, till he comes to 
town." At his house in Park Street, close by, 
died, on the 2/th of March, 1699, the celebrated 
divine, Edward Stillingfleet, Bishop of Worcester. 
Running parallel with King Street and Parlia- 
ment Street is Cannon Row, or, as it was formerly 
called, Channel Row. Pennant conjectures that 
it derives its name from the canons of the neigh- 
bouring abbey, and that the word was subsequently 
corrupted into Channel Row ; when we find, how- 
ever, that a branch, or channel, of the Thames 
ran, in former times, between the north end of the 
Row and Privy Gardens, we feel much more in- 
clined to receive the ancient name as the correct 
one than to accept the far-fetched derivation of 
Pennant, and which, in fact, has only been adopted 
in modern times. Here stood the magnificent 
residence of Anne Stanhope, the second and tur- 
bulent wife of the great Protector, Duke of Somer- 
set ; here, in the reign of Queen Elizabeth, was 
the inn or palace of the Stanleys, Earls of Derby ; 
close by was the mansion of Henry, second Earl 


of Lincoln, who sat in judgment on Mary, Queen 
of Scots, and who was one of the peers deputed 
by Queen Elizabeth to arrest the Earl of Essex 
in his house; here, in the reign of James the 
First, the Sackvilles, Earls of Dorset, had their 
town residence; and here, also, in the time of 
Queen Elizabeth, was the mansion of the great 
family of the Cliffords, Earls of Cumberland. 
Anne Clifford, Countess of Dorset, informs us 
that here, on the ist of May, 1589, she was begot- 
ten by her most valiant father, George, Earl of 
Cumberland, on the body of her most virtuous 
mother, Margaret, daughter of Francis, Earl of 
.Bedford. This lady was the munificent and high- 
spirited heiress of the Cliffords ; who married, 
first, Richard Sackville, Earl of Dorset ; who sub- 
sequently became the wife of the "memorable 
simpleton," Philip Herbert, Earl of Pembroke 
and Montgomery ; and who is now, perhaps, best 
remembered from her famous letter to Sir 
Joseph Williamson, Secretary of State to Charles 
the Second, when he applied to her to nominate 
a member of Parliament for the borough of 
Appleby : 

" I have been bullied by a usurper ; I have been 
neglected by a court ; but I will not be dictated to 
by a subject : your man sha'n't stand. 

" Pembroke and Montgomery." 


Channel Row is connected by a curious anec- 
dote with the last days of Charles the First. On 
one of the nights which intervened between his 
trial and his execution, the unfortunate king took 
a ring from his finger, and, delivering it to his 
affectionate follower, Herbert, desired him to pro- 
ceed with it to a certain house in Channel Row, 
where he was to deliver it to the lady of the house, 
without saying a word. This person proved to 
be Lady Wheeler, the king's laundress. Having 
obtained the watchword from Colonel Tomlinson, 
who commanded the guard, Herbert proceeded, 
on a dark night, to the house which the king had 
designated. Having obtained admittance, he was 
told by the lady to wait in the parlour till she 
returned. She shortly afterward reentered the 
the room, and, placing in his hands a small cabinet 
closed with three seals, desired him to deliver it 
to the same person from whom he had received 
the ring. The next morning, in Herbert's pres- 
ence, the king broke the seals, when the cabinet 
was found to contain a number of diamonds and 
jewels, most of them set in broken insignia of the 
Order of the Garter. "This," said the king, "is 
all the wealth which I have it in my power to 
bequeath to my children." Close to Channel Row 
are Manchester Buildings, the site of the residence 
of the Earls of Manchester. 

Passing down King Street, we face the inter- 
esting Church of St. Margaret's, Westminster, 


standing beneath the shadow of the magnificent 
abbey. I think it is Smollett who indignantly 
observes that England is the only country in the 
world where a stranger is not made welcome to 
the house of God. The neglected and disgraceful 
state of many of the London churches ; the exac- 
tion of twopence as the price of entering the great 
cathedral of St. Paul's ; the necessity of feeing a 
pew-opener on a Sunday ; and, on a week-day, of 
sending to an ale-house or an eating-house, for the 
attendance of a sleepy or drunken sexton with his 
keys, is indecent and discreditable in the extreme. 
Putting the higher consideration of religion entirely 
out of the question ; putting aside the miserable 
disfigurement of our many beautiful churches by 
pews and galleries, and the invidious, aristocratic, 
and unchristian-like distinction which is now made 
between the rich and the poor, the public have 
at least a right to exact from the English clergy 
the same boon which is granted in every Christian 
city in Europe, namely, a free admission to the 
church which they support out of their daily means. 
London is rich with numerous churches, replete 
with interesting monuments, historical associations, 
and architectural beauty, but whether we seek in- 
gress to them from purely devotional feelings, 
whether with the feelings of an artist, a poet, or 
a devotee, they alike engender emotions which 
advance us in the dignity of thinking beings, and 
consequently ought to be freely opened to the 


public. We are yearly throwing open the doors 
of palaces and museums to the lower orders, free 
of expense, and yet the doors of the house of 
God are still closed against them. As an English- 
man and a Protestant, I could not accompany a 
foreigner or a Roman Catholic to any one of 
the interesting churches of London without a 
blush ! 

St. Margaret's Church was originally built by 
Edward the Confessor. The abbey had previously 
been used as the parish church, to the great incon- 
venience of the monks, to relieve whom the Con- 
fessor caused a small church to be built under 
the wing of the magnificent pile which now over- 
shadows it. St. Margaret's was rebuilt in the 
reign of Edward the First, and again in the reign 
of Edward the Fourth. What remains of the 
ancient building is extremely beautiful, and espe- 
cially the altar recess, with its groined roof, its 
panelled niches, and fresco designs, has been 
much and deservedly admired. But the gem of 
St. Margaret's is the magnificent east window, 
unquestionably one of the most gorgeous and 
beautiful specimens of painted glass in Europe. 
It represents the history of the crucifixion, and 
was made by order of the magistrates of Dort, 
with the intention of presenting it to Henry the 
Seventh. On one side Henry is depicted kneel- 
ing, with his patron saint, St. George, standing in 
full armour in a niche above him. On the other 


side is the queen, also at her devotions, and, above 
her, in a corresponding niche, St. Catherine, with 
the instruments of her martyrdom. Five years 
elapsed before the completion of this admirable 
work of art, and when it reached England Henry 
was no more. Its subsequent history is interest- 
ing and curious. It was originally set up in 
Waltham Abbey, where it remained till the disso- 
lution of that monastery, when it was preserved 
from destruction by the last abbot, who sent it to 
New Hall, a seat of the Butlers, Earls of Ormond, 
in Wiltshire. In the course of the next century, 
it passed successively, with the property of New 
Hall, into the possession of the Earl of Wiltshire, 
father of Anne Boleyn, Thomas Radcliffe, Earl of 
Sussex, George Villiers, Duke of Buckingham, and 
General Monk. When the civil wars broke out it 
was in the possession of Monk, who, dreading that 
it might fall a sacrifice to the blind zeal of the 
bigoted Puritans, caused it to be carefully taken 
to pieces and buried in the garden at New Hall. 
Here it remained till the Restoration, when it was 
dug up and restored to its former position in the 
chapel. Some years afterward, when the chapel 
at New Hall fell to ruins, the window was again 
taken down, and remained for a considerable time 
packed up in boxes, till purchased by Mr. Conyers 
for his chapel at Copthall, in Essex. From the 
son of this gentleman it was purchased, in 1758, 
by the committee appointed for repairing and 


beautifying St. Margaret's, and was forthwith 
placed in its present position. 

In addition to its architectural merits, and its 
beautiful window, St. Margaret's is full of interest 
from its containing the remains of many remark- 
able persons, who rest either in its vaults or in the 
adjoining churchyard. Here lies the honoured 
dust of William Caxton, who first introduced 
printing into England, and who for years pursued 
his quiet but priceless labours in the precincts of 
the adjoining abbey. In the chancel lies the 
body of the celebrated satirical poet, John Skelton, 
who, in spite of his unpolished verse and his buf- 
fooneries in the pulpit, was a man of unquestion- 
able genius. That man could, indeed, be no 
literary impostor, of whom Erasmus says, in one 
of his letters to Henry the Eighth, that he was 
Britannicarum literarum lumen et decus, "the 
light and glory of English literature." His satirical 
ballads against the mendicant friars made him 
many enemies amongst the priesthood ; but his 
own life being far from blameless, it had the effect 
of weakening the attacks. Anthony Wood tells us 
" he was guilty of many crimes, as most poets are." 
At length Skelton was bold enough to point his 
satire at Cardinal Wolsey. The officers of that 
powerful minister were immediately on his track, 
and with some difficulty he escaped from them, 
and took refuge in the sanctuary at Westminster. 
Here he was treated with great kindness by Abbot 


Islip, and here he breathed his last in 1529, 
only a short time before the fall of the great 

Close to the grave of Skelton lies a brother 
poet, Thomas Churchyard, of whose checkered 
fortunes we would gladly know more than has 
been handed down to us. When a child, we are 
told, he learned to play the lute to sweeten his 
studies ; but at the age of seventeen he quitted 
his father's roof, and, with only a small sum of 
money in his pocket, made his appearance at the 
court of Henry the Eighth. Anthony Wood tells 
us that as long as his money lasted he continued 
a "roysterer," but his means being soon ex- 
hausted, he gladly obtained admission into the 
household of the accomplished Henry Howard, 
Earl of Surrey. After the melancholy death 
of his young and noble patron, Churchyard was 
again thrown on the world. He then became 
a soldier of fortune, but, growing tired of the mili- 
tary profession, he travelled into foreign countries, 
and, on his return, took up his abode at Oxford 
for the purpose of pursuing his studies at his ease. 
It was not in the nature, however, of the restless 
poet to lead for any length of time the life of a 
recluse. Accordingly, on the breaking out of the 
war with Scotland, be hastened to that country ; 
was taken prisoner in an engagement with the 
enemy, probably the battle of Pinkey ; and, when he 
obtained his release, at the conclusion of the war, 


returned to the court " very poor and bare, spoiled 
of all, and his body in a very sickly and decayed 
condition." Fortune, however, once more smiled 
on him ; he was taken into the household of Eliza- 
beth's great favourite, Robert Dudley, Earl of 
Leicester, and shortly afterward married a rich 
widow, Mrs. Catherine Browning. His marriage 
proving in every respect an unhappy one, the poet 
again took up arms, and in the wars in the 
Low Countries was wounded and taken prisoner. 
Charmed with his agreeable conversation and con- 
vivial qualities, his captors treated him with great 
kindness, and subsequently, by aid of a lady of 
quality, who either compassionated his misfortunes, 
or was in love with his person, he found means to 
escape. After walking on foot for several days 
through an enemy's country, he at length con- 
trived to rejoin his friends, and in due time 
returned to England. Poor and restless, his 
misfortunes once more compelled him to go to 
the wars. He was again taken prisoner, was tried 
and condemned to death as a spy, and, only on the 
eve of the sentence being carried into execution, 
was reprieved by the intercession of another noble 
lady, and permitted to return to his own country. 
Such were the strange fortunes of the gay, the 
gallant, and gifted Thomas Churchyard ! Of his 
subsequent history we know little, except that his 
end, like that of most poets, was one of penury 
and privation. There was formerly a monument 


to his memory in the porch of St. Margaret's 
Church, of which Camden has preserved the in- 
scription, but the former has long since dis- 

Not the least interesting monument in St. Mar- 
garet's Church is that of the gallant and mag- 
nificent Charles, Lord Howard of Effingham, to 
whom Elizabeth entrusted the chief defence of 
her kingdom at the threatened approach of the 
formidable Spanish Armada. He subsequently 
commanded the naval force at the capture of 
Cadiz and the burning of the Spanish fleet; and 
it was in his ear that Queen Elizabeth, on her 
death-bed, murmured the last words which ensured 
the succession to James the First. His monu- 
ment, which is a sumptuous one, contains an 
effigy of the gallant admiral, and another of his 

Under the high altar lie the headless remains 
of Sir Walter Raleigh, who was executed close by 
in Old Palace Yard ; and, either in the same 
grave, or in its immediate vicinity, rests the body 
of James Harrington, the well-known author of 
the "Oceana." According to Toland, Harring- 
ton's biographer, the grave of the great political 
writer is " on the south side of the altar," next to 
that of Sir Walter Raleigh. Here also was buried, 
on the loth of February, 1652, Milton's second 
wife, Catherine Woodcock, who died in giving 
birth to a daughter within a year after her mar- 


riage, and on whose loss the great poet composed 
his beautiful sonnet commencing : 

" Methought I saw my late espoused saint, 
Brought to me, like Alcestis, from the grave," etc. 

One can almost imagine the figure of the blind 
poet as he passed up the nave of St. Margaret's ; 
or as he stood by the side of the open grave, 
when the creaking of the ropes could alone have 
informed him that his beloved wife was being 
lowered into her last home. 

The only other person of any note who appears 
to have been interred in St. Margaret's Church is 
the gallant cavalier, Sir Philip Warwick, the faithful 
attendant of Charles the First in his misfortunes, 
and the author of some interesting memoirs of his 
unfortunate master. With the exception of the 
monument of Lord Howard of Efringham, of a 
tablet erected to the memory of Caxton by the 
Roxburgh Club, and a painted board which records 
that Sir Walter Raleigh lies buried in the church, 
St. Margaret's contains no memorial of the resting- 
places of the many remarkable persons whom we 
have mentioned as having been interred within its 
walls. Nevertheless, in the church are many old 
and curious monuments of persons less known to 
fame, and among them memorials of more than 
one faithful adherent of our Tudor sovereigns. 

Before quitting St. Margaret's Church we must 
not omit to mention that it was at the altar that 


the celebrated Edward Hyde, Earl of Clarendon, 
was married to his second wife, Frances, daughter 
and heir of Sir Thomas Aylesbury, Bart. With 
this lady as the great chancellor himself informs 
us he lived "very comfortably in the most 
uncomfortable times, and very joyfully in those 
times when matter of joy was administered, for 
the space of five or six and thirty years." By 
this wife Lord Clarendon was the father of Anne 
Hyde, Duchess of York, who became the mother 
of Mary and Anne, successively Queens of Eng- 

One would willingly be able to point out the 
spot in St. Margaret's churchyard where rest the 
remains of the great and gallant Admiral Blake. 
The Parliament having voted him a public funeral, 
he was buried with great magnificence in Henry 
the Seventh's Chapel. At the Restoration, how- 
ever, to the great disgrace of the government, his 
body was taken up and flung into a pit in St. 
Margaret's churchyard. At the same time were 
removed, and thrown into the same hole, the 
bodies of Oliver Cromwell's mother; of Thomas 
May, the translator of Lucan and the historian of 
the Commonwealth ; and of the celebrated Doctor 
Dorislaus, assistant to the high court of justice 
which tried Charles the First. His murdered 
remains had been brought from The Hague, where 
he was assassinated by the royalists, to be hon- 
ourably interred in Westminster Abbey. 



The Sanctuary Persons Who Took Refuge There The 
Gatehouse Its History Tothill Street The Streets of 
Old Westminster Westminster School Remarkable Per- 
sons Educated There. 

THE famous sanctuary a place of refuge for 
criminals apparently from the time of Edward the 
Confessor stood on the ground on which the 
Westminster Hospital and the Guildhall now stand. 
The church which belonged to it, and which was 
in the form of a cross and of great antiquity, was 
pulled down about 1750, to make room for a mar- 
ket which was afterward held on its site. Doctor 
Stukely, the antiquary, who remembered its de- 
struction, informs us that its walls were of vast 
strength and thickness, and that it was not with- 
out difficulty that it was demolished. 

When Edward the Fourth, in 14/0, was com- 
pelled to fly the kingdom at the approach of the 
king-maker, Warwick, with his victorious army, 
his beautiful queen, Elizabeth Grey, flew for refuge 
to the sanctuary at Westminster, and in its pre- 
cincts she was delivered of her eldest son, after- 



ward Edward the Fifth, whose subsequent tragical 
fate in the Tower is so well known. 

" I'll hence forthwith unto the sanctuary, 
To save at least the heir of Edward's right, 
There shall I rest secure from force and fraud. 
Come, therefore, let us fly, while we may fly, 
If Warwick take us, we are sure to die." 

Thirteen years afterward, when the designs of 
Richard, Duke of Gloucester, against the life and 
authority of his young nephew were but too 
apparent, the queen, with her young son, the 
Duke of York, again flew for refuge to the sanc- 
tuary at Westminster. We all remember the 
beautiful passage in " Richard the Third," where 
the broken-hearted queen bids farewell to the 
Duchess of York, and hastens with her child to 
the only asylum which her enemies have left to 
her. Her eldest-born was already in the hands 
of the usurper : 

" Ah ! me, I see the ruin of my house : 
The tiger now hath seized the gentle hind; 
Insulting tyranny now begins to jut 
Upon the innocent and aweless throne. 
Welcome destruction, blood, and massacre ! 
I see, as in a map, the end of all. 
Come, come, my boy, we will to sanctuary." 

Anxious by all means to get the young Duke of 
York in his power, and enraged at his prey slip- 
ping through his hands, Richard summoned his 
council, and unhesitatingly proposed to take the 


young prince from the sanctuary by force. To 
the council he represented, in his usual plausible 
and Jesuitical manner, the indignity which had been 
put on the regency by the queen's ill-grounded ap- 
prehensions, and the necessity of the Duke of 
York walking in procession at the coronation of 
his brother. He further insisted that ecclesiasti- 
cal privileges were originally intended only to give 
protection to persons persecuted for their crimes 
or debts, and could therefore in no way apply to 
one of tender years, who, having committed no 
offence, had no right to claim security from any 
sanctuary. There were present at the council- 
table Cardinal Bourchier, Archbishop of Canter- 
bury, and Rotherham, Archbishop of York, who 
boldly protested against the sacrilege of the meas- 
ure. The church of Westminster, to which the 
sanctuary was attached, said the archbishops, had 
been consecrated five hundred years^since by St. 
Peter himself, who descended from heaven in the 
night, attended by multitudes of angels. No King 
of England, they added, had ever dared to violate 
that sanctuary, and such an attempt would cer- 
tainly draw down the just vengeance of God upon 
the whole kingdom. It was at length agreed that 
the two primates should wait on the queen in the 
sanctuary, and should first of all endeavour to 
bring the queen to compliance by persuasion, 
before any more violent measures were resorted 
to. The scene between Gloucester's creature, the 


Duke of Buckingham, and Cardinal Bourchier, is 
admirably dramatised by Shakespeare : 

" Buck. . . . Lord Cardinal, will your grace 

Persuade the Queen to send the Duke of York, 
Unto his princely brother presently? 
If she deny Lord Hastings go with him, 
And from her jealous arms pluck him perforce. 

Card. My Lord of Buckingham, if my weak oratory 
Can from his mother win the Duke of York, 
Anon expect him here : but if she be obdurate 
To mild entreaties, God in heaven forbid 
We should infringe the holy privilege 
Of blessed sanctuary ! not for all this land 
Would I be guilty of so deep a sin. 

Buck. You are too senseless obstinate, my lord, 
Too ceremonious, and traditional : 
Weigh it but with the grossness of this age, 
You break not sanctuary in seizing him. 
The benefit thereof is always granted 
To those whose dealings have deserved the place, 
And those who have the wit to claim the place : 
This prince hath neither claimed it, nor deserved it ; 
And therefore, in mine opinion, cannot have it : 
Then, taking him from thence, that is not there, 
You break no privilege nor charter there. 
Oft have I heard of Sanctuary men ; 
But Sanctuary children ne'er till now. 

Card. My lord, you shall o'errule my mind for once, 
Come on, Lord Hastings, will you go with me? 

Hast. I go, my Lord." 

There can be little doubt, from their established 
character for integrity, that when Cardinal Bour- 
chier and the Archbishop of York waited on the un- 


fortunate queen, in the sanctuary, they were both 
fully satisfied of Gloucester's good intentions, and 
consequently were quite sincere when they used 
every argument and entreaty to induce her to. give 
up her beloved child. She remained for a long time 
obstinate, but finding herself unsupported in her 
opposition, and being assured that force would in 
all probability be used should she persist in her 
obduracy, she at last complied, and produced her 
son to the two prelates. At the moment of part- 
ing she is said to have been struck with a strange 
presentiment of his future fate. But it was now 
too late to retract. Overcome with feelings which 
only a mother can experience, she caught the child 
in her arms, wetted him with her tears, and at last 
reluctantly delivered him to the cardinal, who im- 
mediately conducted him to the Protector. Rich- 
ard, we are told, no sooner caught sight of his 
young nephew, than he ran toward him with open 
arms, and kissing him, exclaimed, " Now welcome, 
my lord, with all my heart." The sequel of the 
melancholy history is too well known to require 

The neighbourhood of the sanctuary is inti- 
mately connected with the early, as well as with 
the closing, history of Ben Jonson. When a 
scholar at Westminster School, he must often 
have wandered in its precincts ; in a house over- 
looking St. Margaret's churchyard he died, and 
in the neighbouring abbey he lies buried. " Long 


since, in King James's time," writes Aubrey, "I 
have heard my Uncle Danvers say, who knew him, 
that Ben Jonson lived without Temple Bar, at a 
comb-maker's shop, about the Elephant and Cas- 
tle. In his later time he lived in Westminster, in 
the house under which you pass as you go out 
of the churchyard into the old palace, where he 
died. He lies buried in the north aisle, in the 
path of square stone (the rest is lozenge), opposite 
to the scutcheon of Robertus de Rose, with this 
inscription only upon him, in a pavement square, 
blue marble, about fourteen inches square, ' O Rare 
Ben Jonson/ which was done at the charge of Jack 
Young (afterward knighted), who, walking there 
when the grave was covering, gave the fellow 
eighteenpence to cut it." In 1780, I find the 
celebrated Edmund Burke residing in the " Broad 
Sanctuary," Westminster. 

At the end of Tothill Street, facing the towers 
and the great western entrance of the abbey, stood 
the famous Gatehouse, built in the reign of Edward 
the Third, anciently a prison under the jurisdic- 
tion of the abbots of Westminster. Formerly, 
when malefactors were conducted to this prison, 

in order to prevent their touching the sanctu- 
ary, which would have ensured them their liberty, 

they were brought by a circuitous route down 
a small lane, running parallel with Great George 
Street, which, from this circumstance, obtained 
the name of Thieving Lane. It was in the Gate- 


house, Westminster, that one of the sweetest of 
love-poets, Richard Lovelace, so celebrated for 
his misfortunes and the beauty of his person, 
suffered imprisonment for his loyalty to his unfor- 
tunate master, Charles the First. Here it was, too, 
that he composed his beautiful song, " To Althea, 
from prison." 

" When Love, with unconfined wings, 

Hovers within my gates, 
And my divine Althea brings 

To whisper at my gates ; 
When I lie tangled in her hair, 

And fettered to her eye, 
The birds that wanton in the air, 

Know no such liberty. 

" Stone walls do not a prison make, 

Nor iron bars a cage ; 
Minds innocent and quiet take 

That for an hermitage. 
If I have freedom in my love, 

And in my soul am free, 
Angels alone, that soar above, 

Enjoy such liberty." 

In the Gatehouse, Westminster, died the cele- 
brated dwarf, Sir Jeffery Hudson, whose name is 
immortalised in the pages of the greatest writer 
of fiction in modern times. He was born in 1619, 
at Oakham, in Rutlandshire, "the least man, in 
the least county." When in his tenth year he 
was presented to the Duchess of Buckingham 
by his father, a tall and broad-shouldered yeoman, 


who had charge of the " baiting-bulls " of George 
Villiers, the first duke. The duchess had him 
dressed in satin, with two tall footmen to attend 
on him; and it was not long afterward, when 
Charles the First and Henrietta Maria paid a visit 
to the duke and duchess, at Burghley-on-the-hill, 
that the little fellow was served up to their Majes- 
ties under the crust of a cold pie. Immediately on 
his stepping out he was presented by the duchess 
to the queen, in whose service he ever afterward 
remained, and was twice painted in attendance 
on her by Vandyke. At the breaking out of the 
civil wars, he obtained a commission as captain of 
horse, and subsequently accompanied his royal mis- 
tress to France, where he remained till the Resto- 
ration. Fuller says of him that, " though a dwarf, 
he was no dastard." On one occasion, having been 
teased beyond bearing by a young courtier of the 
name of Crofts, Sir Jeffery challenged his perse- 
cutor to single combat, when, to his annoyance, 
Crofts appeared on the ground with a squirt in his 
hand. A real meeting was the result. It was 
agreed that they should fight on horseback with 
pistols, and, at the first shot, Sir Jeffery shot his 
antagonist dead. In 1682, he was most absurdly 
implicated by Titus Gates, in the still more absurd 
Popish Plot, and in consequence was committed to 
the Gatehouse, where he died shortly afterward, 
in his sixty-third year. In Newgate Street, over 
the entrance to a small court, on the north side of 


the street, may be seen a small piece of sculpture 
in stone, representing the figures of William 
Evans, the gigantic porter of Charles the First, 
and by his side the redoubtable Sir Jeffery. This 
was the enormous porter who, at one of the court 
masks at Whitehall, drew the little knight from 
his pocket, to the astonishment of the guests, 
and who was ever afterward Sir Jeffery 's especial 

Tothill Street derives its name from an exten- 
sive meadow, called Tothill-field, or as Fabyan 
describes it in 1238, "a fielde by Westmynster, 
lying at ye west end of ye church." On the 
occasion of the magnificent rejoicings which took 
place in the ancient palace of Westminster, at the 
coronation of Queen Eleanor, consort of Henry 
the Third, we find " royal solemnities and goodly 
joustes" kept up during eight days in Tothill- 
fields. Ten years afterward, in 1248, the hatred 
which Henry bore the citizens of London (whom 
he reproached with "calling themselves barons, 
on account of their wealth ") induced him to 
endeavour to injure their trade by diverting their 
profits into other channels ; and, accordingly, he 
adopted the expedient of granting a license to the 
Abbot of Westminster, for holding an annual fair 
for fifteen days in Tothill-fields. This fair, from 
its being held at St. Edward's-tide (October), was 
called St. Edward's Fair. "To the end," says 
Holinshed, " that the same should be more haunted 


with all manner of people, the king commanded 
by proclamation that other fairs holden in that 
season should not be kept, nor that any wares 
should be showed within the city of London, either 
in shop or without ; but that such as would sell 
should come for that time unto Westminster. This 
was done, but not without great trouble and pains 
to the citizens, who had not room there but in 
booths and tents, to their great disquieting and 
disease for want of necessary provision, being tur- 
moiled too pitifully in mire and dirt, through occa- 
sion of rain." At this period, the house of John 
Mansel, Priest and King's Counsel, was probably 
the only one in Tothill-fields. The mansion must 
have been a spacious one, for in 1256 we find 
him entertaining here, with great magnificence, 
Henry the Third and his queen, the King of 
Scotland, and a great number of the wealthy 
citizens of London. 

In the latter part of the reign of Queen Eliza- 
beth, Tothill Street must have been a fashionable 
quarter of the town ; at least if we may judge 
from the fact of Lord Dacres and Lord Grey 
having severally had houses here. The name of 
the former nobleman is still preserved in Dacre 
Street, near the west end of Tothill Street. We 
must not forget to mention that the celebrated 
actor, Thomas Betterton, the son of an under 
cook to Charles the First, was born in Tothill 
Street, in 1635. 


If the reader is not unwilling to trust himself 
among gloomy streets and dingy alleys, and 
amidst a somewhat lawless population, he will be 
repaid by making a short circuit around the old 
city of Westminster. Diving into Little Dean 
Street, to the west of Tothill Street, we stand on 
the site of the old Almonry, where, as we have 
already mentioned, the monks were accustomed 
to distribute their alms, and where, under the 
protection of the abbot, Caxton set up the first 
printing-press which was established in England, 
and printed his first book, "The Game and 
Play of the Chesse." Close by, between the 
east end of Orchard Street and Dean's Yard, 
stood the little Almonry, interesting, as having 
been the spot where the celebrated James Har- 
rington lived for many years, and where he ap- 
parently died. Aubrey has not only pointed out 
the spot with great minuteness, but has also left 
us a curious picture of the great political writer 
as he appeared at the close of life. " His du- 
rance in prison," says Aubrey, "was the cause 
of derilation or madness, which was not outra- 
geous, for he would discourse rationally enough, 
and he was very facetious company ; but he grew 
to have a fancy that his perspiration turned to 
flies, and sometimes to bees ; and he had a ver- 
satile timber house built in Mr. Hart's garden, 
opposite to St. James's Park, to try the experi- 
ment. He would turn it to the sun, and sit 


toward it ; then he had his fox-tails to chase away 
and massacre all the flies and bees that were to 
be found there, and then shut his chasses. 1 Now 
this experiment was only to be tried in warm 
weather, and some flies would lie so close in the 
crannies and the cloth with which the place was 
hung, that they would not presently show them- 
selves. A quarter of an hour after, perKaps, a 
fly or two, or more, might be drawn out of the 
lurking-holes by the warmth, and then he would 
cry out, Do you not see it is evident that these 
come from me ? ' 'Twas the strangest sort of 
madness that ever I found in any one : talk of 
anything else, his discourse would be very in- 
genious and pleasant. Anno he married his 

old sweetheart, Mistress Daynell, a comely 

and discreet lady. It happening so, from some 
private reasons, that he could not enjoy his 
dear in the flower of his youth, he would never 
lie with her ; but loved and admired her dearly ; 
for she was vergentibus annis when he married 
her, and had lost her sweetness. In his conver- 
sation he was very friendly, facetious, and hos- 
pitable. For above twenty years before he died, 
he lived in the little Almonry, in a fair house 
on the left side, which looks into the Dean's 
Yard, Westminster. In the upper story he had 

1 Sic Orig. This exceeds even the fancy of Lord Herbert of 
Cherbury, who tells us that his perspiration emitted so sweet an 
odour that it scented the room. 


a pretty gallery, which looked into the yard 

(over Court), where he commonly dined, and 

meditated, and took his tobacco." In 1708, we 
find Lord Ashburnham, as well as the Bishops 
of Lincoln and Rochester, residing in Dean's 

At the end of Tothill Street is Petty France, so 
called from the number of French refugees who 
settled here on the revocation of the Edict of 
Nantes by Louis the Fourteenth. But without 
entering its wretched streets, which contain little 
that is interesting, let us turn down the Broadway 
to the left, and we shall face the " New Chapel," 
built originally in the time of Charles the First, 
at the expense of the Rev. George Davell, one 
of the prebendaries of Westminster, as a chapel of 
ease for the inhabitants of Petty France and 
of the neighbouring streets. The spot is not 
without interest. During the civil wars it was 
converted into a stable for the horses of the re- 
publican troopers, but was again fitted up as a 
chapel at the Restoration. In the burying-ground 
attached to it lie the remains of the great artist, 
Winceslaus Hollar, and within the walls of the 
old chapel was buried "privately but decently" 
the body of the memorable Colonel Blood. So 
strange and restless had been the career of this 
extraordinary man, that his contemporaries seem 
to have imagined it impossible that so turbulent 
a spirit could ever lie quiet in the grave. The 


general opinion appears to have been, at the time, 
that his funeral was a mere imposition, prepara- 
tory to some more extraordinary exploit than any 
other he had hitherto performed. At all events, 
the body of the formidable bravo was not allowed 
to remain quiet in its resting-place. The rumours, 
we are told, of his interment being suppositious 
became at last so current in the neighbourhood, 
and " so many circumstances were added to ren- 
der it credible," that the coroner thought fit to 
order the body to be taken up again on the 
Thursday following, and appointed a jury to sit 
upon it. But so strongly were they possessed 
with the idle fancy of Blood being still alive, that 
though the jury were his neighbours and knew him 
personally, and though he had been dead only a 
few days, it was a considerable time before they 
could come to the conclusion whether it was his 
body or not. At last a bystander drew the atten- 
tion of the jury to the thumb of Blood's left hand, 
which, by some accident, had grown to twice its 
original size. This circumstance, added to the 
depositions of several persons who had visited 
him in his last illness, at length convinced the 
jury of the identity, and the coroner having issued 
his order for the reinterment of the body, it was 
allowed to remain in peace. 

Adjoining the burying-ground of New Chapel, 
to the westward, was the Artillery Ground, a name 
which we find still preserved in " Artillery Brew- 


ery," which stands on part of its site. In those 
dreadful days, during the raging of the plague in 
1665, when the red cross and the "Lord, have 
mercy upon us " were painted on the doors of half 
the houses in London ; when the dead-cart went 
its round in the still night, and the tinkle of the 
bell and the cry of "Bring out your dead " alone 
broke the awful silence, it was in a vast pit in 
the neighbourhood of the Artillery Ground that 
the frequent dead-carts discharged their noisome 
cargoes by the fitful light of the torches which 
the buryers held in their hands. In one of the 
journals of the period we find a complaint made, 
in regard to these burial-places, that "the bodies 
are piled even to the level of the ground, and 
thereby poison the whole neighbourhood." The 
Pest House in the fields beyond Old Street, and 
that in Tot hill-fields, appear to have been the 
two principal ones in the neighbourhood of the 

Passing along Stretton Street we turn down 
Great Peter Street, from the centre of which, on 
the east side, diverges Great St. Anne Street, in 
which it would seem that one of the sweetest of 
poets, Robert Herrick, resided after the Restora- 
tion of Charles the Second. The poet himself 
writes : 

" To Richmond, Kingston, and to Hampton Court, 
Never again shall I with finny oar 
Put from, or draw unto the faithful shore ; 


And, landing here, or safely landing there, 
Make way to my beloved Westminster." 

Continuing our route down Peter Street, the 
corner house of this street and Tufton Street is 
that which tradition points out as the house to 
which Blood retired after he made his famous 
attempt on the crown jewels in the Tower. 
Whether or no this be the case, it is certain that 
the house in which Blood latterly lived, and in 
which he breathed his last, was in Bowling Alley, 
a continuation of Tufton Street. He was attended 
in his last illness by a clergyman, who found him 
sensible but reserved, and to whom he declared 
that he had no fear of death. 

Bowling Alley leads us into College Street, of 
which I find more than one notice in Gibbon's 
interesting " Memoir of His Life and Writings." 
Speaking of his return from the Continent in 1758, 
he writes : " The only person in England whom I 
was impatient to see was my Aunt Porten, the 
affectionate guardian of my tender years. I 
hastened to her house in College Street, West- 
minster, and the evening was spent in the effu- 
sions of joy and confidence. It was not without 
some awe and apprehension that I approached the 
presence of my father. My infancy, to speak the 
truth, had been neglected at home ; the severity 
of his look and language at our last parting still 
dwelt on my memory, nor could I form any notion 
of his character or my probable reception. They 


were both more agreeable than I could expect." 
The great historian again mentions his passing 
through Westminster, on the occasion of the last 
visit which he paid to his beloved Lausanne. " As 
my post-chaise," he says, " moved over West- 
minster Bridge, I bade a long farewell to the 
fumum et opes, strepitumque Ronuz" 

Near the south end of College Street is the fan- 
tastic-looking church of St. John the Evangelist, 
with its four pinnacles, one at each corner, which 
form such prominent objects from the different 
points of the metropolis at which they are visible. 
This church, the work of Sir John Vanbrugh, was 
commenced in 1721, and completed in 1728. I 
cannot discover that any particular interest at- 
taches to it. It has been much censured for its 
excess of ornament, but it is not altogether desti- 
tute of architectural beauty, and the portico, sup- 
ported by Doric columns, has been deservedly 

To the west of the church of St. John the 
Evangelist is Millbank, which derives its name 
from a mill which formerly stood here. Here 
subsequently stood the mansion of the Mordaunts, 
Earls of Peterborough, in which family it remained 
till the time of Charles Mordaunt, the third earl, 
whose talents and eccentricities have rendered his 
name so famous. " Here, in my boyish days," 
says Pennant, " I have often experienced the hos- 
pitality of the late Sir Robert Grosvenor, its 


worthy owner, who enjoyed it by the purchase, by 
one of his family, from the Mordaunts." There is 
extant an engraving by Hollar, of old Peterborough 
House. Abingdon Street, a continuation of Mill- 
bank Street, derives its name from a mansion 
belonging to the Earls of Abingdon, which for- 
merly stood on the site, and which was previously 
called Lindsey House, from having been in the 
possession of the Berties, Earls of Lindsey. 

Before concluding our notices of the old city of 
Westminster, let us stroll into Dean's Yard, and 
dwell a short time on the ancient and interesting 
school, which nestles itself beneath the walls of 
the venerable abbey, and where so many of the 
most celebrated men in the literary annals of our 
country have passed the happiest, for it was the 
earliest, part of their lives. To the author it is 
a most interesting spot. The ground on which 
Westminster School now stands and a great 
portion of the ancient walls remain to remind us 
of the monastic history of the past was formerly 
entirely occupied by the apartments of the abbot, 
the dormitories of the monks, the refectory, the 
granary, and other monastical buildings. The dor- 
mitory of the king's scholars stands on the site of 
the old granary, built by Abbot Littlington, who 
died in 1 3 86 ; and the hall in which they dine was 
formerly the refectory of the old abbots. 

That there was a school near the spot, under 
the direction of the monks, in the time of the 


Saxon kings, there can be no doubt. Ingulphus, 
Abbot of Crowland, speaks of his having been 
educated at it, of the disputations which he had 
here with the queen of the Confessor, and of the 
presents which she made him in money in his 
boyish days. It was not, however, till 1 5 60, a few 
years after the dissolution of the monasteries, that 
Queen Elizabeth founded the present institution 
for the classical education of forty boys, who are 
still designated as king's or queen's scholars. 

One of the earliest head-masters of Westminster 
School was the celebrated antiquary and historian, 
William Camden. Old Aubrey tells us on the 
authority of William Bagshawe, who had been one 
of the under-masters of the school that Cam- 
den's lodgings were in "the gatehouse by the 
queen's scholars' chambers in Dean's Yard ; " and 
from hence he used to wander forth, when his 
pupils were at play, to copy the inscriptions on 
the ancient tombs of Westminster Abbey, in which 
occupation the gifted antiquary unquestionably 
took far more delight than in impressing on his 
pupils the necessity of learning hard words, or in 
flagellating the idle or the dull. Ben Jonson was 
one of his pupils, and the pupil loved and revered 
his master. How gratifying must it have been to 
Camden when the great dramatist, at the early age 
of twenty-four, dedicated to his old master, in a 
most affectionate address, the first, and perhaps 
the most admirable, of his dramatic productions, 


" Every Man in His Humour." " It is a frail mem- 
ory," he says, " that remembers but present things. 
. . . Now I pray you to accept this ; such wherein 
neither the confession of my manners shall make 
you blush, nor of my studies repent you to have 
been the instructor ; and for the profession of my 
thankfulness, I am sure it will, with good men, find 
either praise or excuse. Your true lover, BEN JON- 
SON." This affectionate and interesting dedication 
is addressed "To the most learned, and my hon- 
oured friend, Master Camden." What pedagogue 
of the present day has ever had such a tribute 
offered to him by such a man ? 

Glancing at the two great schools of Eton and 
Westminster, one would have imagined that Eton, 
from its rural and romantic situation, its vicinity 
to Windsor, its interesting associations, and its 
picturesque playing-fields, 

" Whose turf, whose shade, whose flowers among, 
Wanders the hoary Thames along 
His silver-winding way," 

possessed all the qualities usually thought requisite 
to engender or to stimulate poetical genius ; while, 
on the other hand, Westminster, from its confined 
situation and dingy atmosphere, would almost seem 
to be an antidote to poetical fire. Eton, more- 
over, would seem to possess no particular ad- 
vantages for nursing orators or statesmen ; while 
Westminster, from its vicinity to the Houses of 


Parliament, and the liberty allowed the students 
of attending the debates, holds out every incite- 
ment to young ambition, if gifted with oratorical 
talent. In both cases, however, the result is 
exactly the opposite to what we should naturally 
have imagined. Eton has produced only three 
poets of any note, Waller, Gray, and Shelley, 1 for 
Lord Littleton and West are beings of an inferior 
order, while she has made up for the deficiency 
in poetical talent by rearing no fewer statesmen 
of celebrity than Harley, Earl of Oxford, Lord 
Bolingbroke, Sir Robert Walpole, the great Lord 
Chatham, Fox, Canning, the Duke of Wellington, 
and the late Marquis Wellesley. On the other 
hand, Westminster has produced not a single illus- 
trious statesman, while we find that more than 
half of our greatest poets were educated within 
her classical walls. 

In the course of some acquaintance with works 
of biography, the author has noted down, as they 
occurred to him, the names of different remark- 
able persons who have been educated at West- 
minster School. The list must necessarily be an 
imperfect one, but, such as it is, it may not be 
unacceptable to those who take an interest in this 
celebrated institution. The date of birth is given 

1 When the above was written, the author had forgotten the 
name of Alfred Tennyson, who was his schoolfellow at Eton, 
and to whose genius he is glad to have this opportunity of paying 


against the name of each, as it will enable us to 
form a tolerable conjecture as to who were con- 
temporaries. Those from Adam Littleton, the 
celebrated scholar, to the Duke of Newcastle, 
inclusive, were brought up under the celebrated 
Doctor Busby, who was nearly fifty-five years head- 
master of the school, and at one time boasted 
that of the bench of bishops as many as sixteen 
had been educated by him. 

1574. Ben Jonson. 

1602. William Heminge, the dramatic writer and fellow 
actor of Shakespeare. 

1605. Thomas Randolf, the dramatic poet. 

1606. Richard Busby, afterward head-master. 

1611. William Cartwright, the poet and divine. 

1612. Sir Harry Vane, the republican statesman, be- 

headed in 1662. 
1612. Sir Arthur Haselrigge, the republican statesman 

and regicide. 

1618. Abraham Cowley, the poet. 
1627. Adam Littleton, the celebrated scholar. 

1630. The Marquis of Halifax, the statesman and author. 

1631. John Dryden, the poet. 

1632. John Locke, the philosopher. 

1632. Sir Christopher Wren, the great architect. 

1633. Robert South, the divine. 

1648. Dr. Humphrey Prideaux, the historian and divine. 

1648. Elkanah Settle, the poet. 

1652. Nathaniel Lee, the dramatic poet. 

1660. Kennet, Bishop of Peterborough, the historian. 

1662. Francis Atterbury, Bishop of Rochester. 

1663. George Smaldridge, the scholar and divine. 

1664. Matthew Prior, the poet and statesman. 


1665. Richard Duke, the poet. 

1668. Sir Richard Blackmore, the poet and physician. 

1668. Edmund Smith, the poet. 

1673. Nicholas Rowe, the dramatic poet. 

1675. Sir John Friend, the philosopher and physician. 

1 68 1. Barton Booth, the celebrated actor. 

1693. Thomas Pelham, Duke of Newcastle, minister to 

George the Second. 

1 700. John Dyer, the poet. 

1703. Bishop Newton, author of the "Dissertation on 

the Prophecies." 

1706. Isaac Hawkins Browne, the poet. 

1721. Thomas Sheridan, the author and actor. 

1730. Thomas King, the comedian. 

1731. William Cowper, the poet. 

1731. Charles Churchill, the poet. 

1732. Warren Hastings. 

1732. Richard Cumberland, the dramatic writer. 

1733. Robert Lloyd, the poet. 

I 733- George Colman, the dramatic writer and scholar. 

1774. Robert Southey, the poet, historian, and biographer. 



Its Early Regal Builders and Tenants Edward the Second 
and Gaveston Death Scene of Henry the Fourth Henry 
the Eighth the Last Resident Court of Requests Painted 
Chamber Gunpowder Plot St. Stephen's Chapel Old 
and New Palace Yard. 

THE earliest notice which we discover of a 
royal residence at Westminster is in the reign of 
Canute, who is mentioned as holding his court 
here in 1035 ; and it seems to have been from one 
of the windows of this palace that the perfidious 
Saxon traitor, Duke Edric, was thrown, by order 
of Canute, into the Thames. The palace of the 
Dane was burnt down a few years afterward, in 
the reign of Edward the Confessor, who, on its 
site, erected a far more magnificent structure. 
Every trace of Canute's palace has ceased to 
exist, but the foundations and a considerable part 
of the Confessor's structure still remain ; and, but 
for the fatal fire which took place on the i6th of 
October, 1834, we should still be able to wander 
into the Court of Requests and the Painted Cham- 
ber, the former, it is said, the banqueting-room, 


and the latter the sleeping-apartment of the " meek 
Confessor," which, with the exception of inter- 
nal adornment, remained in the same state in 
which they existed in the middle of the eleventh 
century. It is scarcely necessary to remark that 
Old Palace Yard points out where stood the 
palace of the Confessor, and New Palace Yard, 
the site of the additions made by the early Nor- 
man kings. From the windows of the former, 
the Confessor could watch the progress made by 
the glorious abbey toward completion, the prin- 
cipal object of his life. " He pressed on the 
work," says Sulcardus, "very earnestly, having ap- 
propriated to it a tenth of his entire substance 
in gold, silver, cattle, and all other possessions." 

In 1085 we find William the Conqueror holding 
his court at Whitsuntide, in the palace of West- 
minster, on which occasion he received the hom- 
age of his subjects, and knighted his youngest son, 
afterward Henry the First. William Rufus held 
his court here in 1099, and the following year 
kept the festival of Whitsuntide within the mag- 
nificent hall which had recently risen under his 
auspices. During the reign of Henry the First, 
the Confessor's palace appears to have been the 
constant residence of that monarch, and of his 
pious and gentle consort, Matilda, daughter of 
Malcolm the Third, King of Scotland, and niece 
to Edward Atheling. During Lent, the good 
queen was constantly to be seen issuing from 


the palace, barefooted and clothed in a garment 
of horsehair, crossing the Old Palace Yard to 
the "Old Chapter House," where she performed 
her devotions and washed the feet of the poor. 
She died in Westminster Palace, on the ist of 
May, 1 1 1 8, and was buried within the walls of the 
Chapter House, which had so often been witness 
to her charities and her piety. 

King Stephen and Henry the Second were both 
crowned at Westminster, and both, at different 
times, held their courts in the Old Palace. Here 
Richard Cceur de Lion held a magnificent court 
on the occasion of his coronation, in September, 
1 1 89, and here it was, when seated at dinner in 
the " Little Hall," at Westminster, that the news 
was brought to him that King Philip, of France, 
had invaded his Norman duchy, and besieged Ver- 
noil. Starting from table in a violent rage, he 
swore passionately that he would never "turn 
away his face " till he had met the French king 
and given him battle, and immediately set off for 
Portsmouth, where he embarked for Normandy. 
On the return of the lion-hearted king to his do- 
minions, in 1197, having dispossessed his brother 
John of the throne, we find him again crowned 
at Westminster. After the death of his brother, 
King John was crowned in the abbey, with the 
usual formalities, and during his reign we find him 
more than once keeping Christmas at Westminster. 

Henry the Third, the successor of King John, 


made great additions to the palace of the Con- 
fessor. During his reign, we find numerous no- 
tices of his having kept his court and held diverse 
festivals at Westminster. Here especially, in 1235, 
took place the interesting betrothment of Isabella, 
the king's sister, to the Emperor Frederic. " In 
February, 1235," writes Matthew Paris, "two am- 
bassadors from the emperor arrived at Westmin- 
ster, to demand in marriage for their master the 
Princess Isabella, the king's sister. The king sum- 
moned a council of the bishops and great men of 
the kingdom, to consider the proposals of the 
emperor ; to which, after three days' consulta- 
tion, a unanimous consent was given. The am- 
bassadors then entreated that they might be 
permitted to see the princess. The king sent 
confidential messengers for his sister to the 
Tower of London, where she was kept in vigi- 
lant custody ; and they most respectfully brought 
the damsel to Westminster into the presence of 
her brother. She was in the twenty-first year 
of her age, exceedingly beautiful, in the flower of 
youthful virginity, becomingly adorned with royal 
vestments and accomplishments, and thus she was 
introduced to the imperial envoys. They, when 
they had for awhile delighted themselves with 
beholding the virgin, and judged her to be in all 
things worthy of the imperial bed, confirmed by 
oath the emperor's proposal of matrimony, present- 
ing to her, on the part of their master, the wedding- 


ring. And when they had placed it on her finger, 
they declared her to be Empress of the Roman 
empire, exclaiming altogether, < Vivat Imperatrix, 
vivat ! ' " In due time, the emperor despatched 
the Duke of Louvaine and the Archbishop of 
Cologne, with a suitable train, to escort the fair 
bride to Germany. They were received by King 
Henry with all due honours, and, previous to 
their departure with Isabella, we find the king 
entertaining them, on the 6th of May, with great 
magnificence, at Westminster. 

The following year, Henry married Eleanor, 
daughter of Raymond, Earl of Provence, when 
the rejoicings, consequent on the marriage and 
subsequent coronation of the new queen, seem to 
have surpassed in splendour anything which had 
previously been witnessed in England. At the 
palace of Westminster, Queen Eleanor was deliv- 
ered, on the 1 6th of June, 1239, of her first son, 
afterward King Edward the First, styled from the 
place of his birth, Edward of Westminster. Here, 
in 1260, we find King Henry entertaining Alex- 
ander, King of Scotland, and here apparently he 
died. Among other curious entries of expenditure 
in this reign, and which show the simplicity of the 
times, we find, in April, 1222, $s. 8</. paid to pur- 
chase rushes for the king's "two chambers at 
Westminster ; " and again in December following, 
35. 4< for rushes for the king's great chamber. 

Edward the First, like his predecessors, made 


Westminster his residence. Here he entertained 
Llewellyn, Prince of Wales, during the Christmas 
of 1277; and here, the following year, we find 
Alexander the Third, King of Scotland, paying 
homage to him for the lands which he held under 
the English Crown. In 1294, John Baliol, King 
of Scotland, was his guest at Westminster, and 
shortly afterward we find the king "royally enter- 
taining in his palace of Westminster the four noble 
envoys of the King of Aragon," with whom he 
was carrying on a secret negotiation for assistance 
in the war which he proposed to wage against the 
French king. 

At this early period of our history it was custom- 
ary for the Kings of England to keep their treasury 
within the precincts of the Abbey of Westmin- 
ster. In 1303, during the absence of Edward the 
First in Scotland, the door of the apartment in 
which the treasure was kept was found to have been 
forcibly entered, the chests and coffers were broken 
open, and treasure to the amount, it was com- 
puted, of a hundred thousand pounds was found to 
have been abstracted. Suspicion at first fell on 
the ecclesiastic establishment, and the abbot, forty- 
eight monks, and thirty-two other persons con- 
nected with the abbey, were arrested by order 
of the king, and sent to the Tower. They were 
subsequently tried by the king's justices and ac- 
quitted, nor does it appear that the real perpretra- 
tors of the daring robbery were ever discovered. 


On the accession of Edward the Second, the old 
palace of Westminster, under the auspices of the 
king's celebrated favourite, Piers Gaveston, became 
the perpetual scene of feasting, dancing, and all 
kinds of riotous merriment. " Within a while," 
says Holinshed, " the young king gave himself up 
to wantonness, passing his time in voluptuous 
pleasure and riotous excess ; and Piers, as though 
he had sworn to make the king forget himself and 
the state to which he was called, furnished his court 
with companions of jesters, ruffians, flattering para- 
sites, musicians, and other vile and naughty ribalds, 
that the king might spend both days and nights in 
jesting, playing, banqueting, and such other filthy 
and dishonourable exercises." 

The following extracts from the account-book of 
one of the king's servants throw a curious light on 
the tastes and amusements of the young monarch : 

Paid to the king himself, to play at cross and pile [toss- 
ing up], by the hands of Richard de Merewith, Receiver 
of the Treasury i2d. 

Paid to Henry, the king's barber, for money which 
he lent to the king to play at cross and. pile . . . $s. 

Paid to Piers Barrad, usher of the king's chamber, 
for money which he lent to the king, and which he lost 
at cross and pile to M. Robt. Watte wy lie . . . &/. 

Paid to James de St. Alban's, the king's painter, who 
danced on a table before the king and made him laugh 
heartily, being a gift by the king's own hands, in aid of 
him, his wife, and children $os. 

Paid at the lodge at Walmer, when the king was 


stag-hunting there, to Morris Ken, of the kitchen, 
because he rode before the king and often fell from 
his horse, at which the king laughed heartily ; a gift by 
command . ' . 2OJ, 

In the days when the young king and his gay 
favourite were revelling and rioting in the costly 
apartments of Westminster, how little could they 
have imagined that the time was not far distant 
when the one was to suffer an excruciating death 
under the hands of an assassin, and the other, to 
die by the axe of the executioner. 

" Weave the warp, and weave the woof, 

The winding-sheet of Edward's race, 
Give ample room and verge enough, 
The characters of hell to trace. 

" Mark the year, and mark the night, 
When Severn shall reecho with affright 
The shrieks of death, through Berkeley's 

roof that ring, 
Shrieks of an agonising king." 

The extravagances and debaucheries of the young 
king were checked for a time by his marriage with 
the beautiful adulteress, Isabella, daughter of Philip 
le Bel, King of France, 

" She-wolf of France, with unrelenting fangs, 

That tear'st the bowels of thy mangled mate, 
From thee be born, who o'er thy country hangs 
The scourge of Heaven ! " x 

1 King Edward the Third, the victor of Cressy. 


The influence, however, of the young queen over 
her husband was but of short duration, and he 
soon relapsed into his former reckless career of 
frolic and vice. 

Piers Gaveston, to whose baneful influence over 
his royal master have been attributed all the vices 
and the consequent misfortunes of the young king, 
was by birth a Gascon. He was distinguished by 
the beauty of his person and the keenness of his 
wit, and, as a reward for the gallant services which 
he had rendered to Edward the First in the field, 
had been appointed by that warlike monarch to a 
considerable post in the household of the Prince of 
Wales. By his accomplishments and fascinating 
manners, he soon obtained so powerful an ascen- 
dency over the mind of young Edward, that the 
old king, dreading the consequences, banished him 
the kingdom, and, before he died, made his son 
promise that he would never recall him. No 
sooner, however, did he find himself on the throne, 
than he sent for his favourite, created him Earl of 
Cornwall, a title which had hitherto only been con- 
ferred on a prince of the blood ; married him to 
his own niece, sister of the Earl of Gloucester; 
loaded him with wealth ; allowed him to wear the 
crown jewels, and moreover, at his coronation in 
Westminster Abbey, permitted him to walk in the 
procession next before him, with the crown. 

Disgusted at these honours being conferred on a 
foreign adventurer, and on one inferior in birth to 


themselves ; still more disgusted at Gaveston mak- 
ing them the subjects of his wit and sarcasms, a 
warfare in which they had no chance with him, the 
haughty barons of England, with Thomas, Earl of 
Lancaster, first prince of the blood, at their head, 
assembled together in the refectory-hall of the 
monks of Westminster, and bound themselves by 
an oath to drive the obnoxious favourite out of the 
kingdom. A Parliament being shortly afterward 
summoned to meet at Westminster, the confeder- 
ated barons appeared there with armed retinues, 
and, among other terms which they imposed on the 
young king, exacted from him a solemn promise 
that his favourite should immediately quit the king- 
dom ; while at the same time they obtained an oath 
from Gaveston that he would never return. He 
accordingly departed, the king accompanying him 
to Bristol, from which port he set sail, but, to the 
surprise and indignation of the barons, they soon 
learned that he had proceeded no farther than Ire- 
land, of which country the king had appointed him 
lord lieutenant, and where he shortly afterward 
distinguished himself by the vigour with which he 
suppressed a formidable rebellion. 

In the meantime, the barons having laid down 
their arms, Edward, rendered miserable by the 
absence of his favourite, obtained from the Pope 
a dispensation from the oath which the barons had 
exacted from him, and, recalling Gaveston from 
Ireland, flew to Chester to embrace him on his 


landing. For a time the barons submitted quietly 
to the return of the detested minion ; but when, 
with returning prosperity, Edward and his favour- 
ite commenced anew their execrable career of dis- 
sipation and misrule, the barons again assembled 
in council, and appeared once more in arms before 
the palace of Westminster. Fresh terms were 
imposed on the weak monarch, one of which was 
that Gaveston should instantly depart the king- 
dom, on pain of being declared a public enemy. 
Accordingly, after embracing each other and shed- 
ding many tears, Edward tore himself from his 
favourite, and, on the ist of November, 1311, the 
latter set sail for Flanders. 

But Edward was inconsolable in the absence of 
his minion, and, having found means to keep up 
a private correspondence with him, it was agreed 
that Gaveston should land in the remote district 
of Cornwall, and that the king should join him as 
soon as possible in the north of England. Accord- 
ingly, having previously kept the festival of Christ- 
mas at the palace of Westminster, Edward, early 
in January, 1312, proceeded to York, where for 
the last time he met his favourite. Here he 
issued a royal mandate declaring the banishment 
of Gaveston to have been illegal, and announcing 
that he had returned to England in obedience to 
his own express commands ; further, on the 24th 
of the following month, he formally restored him 
to all his former honours and estates. Exasper- 


ated by these unlooked-for events, the barons, on 
pretence of repairing to a tournament in the north, 
armed their numerous retainers, for the purpose of 
reducing the king to submission, and punishing 
his unworthy favourite. On reaching York they 
found that Edward had removed to Newcastle, 
leaving Gaveston in the almost impregnable castle 
of Scarborough, to which latter place they pro- 
ceeded to lay siege. Amongst the barons the one 
who was the most inflamed with rage against the 
favourite was the celebrated Guy, Earl of War- 
wick, whom Gaveston had sneered at by the name 
of the "Black Dog of Arderne." Being short of 
provisions, the castle was soon compelled to capit- 
ulate ; but in all probability the life of Gaveston 
would have been spared, had not the Earl of 
Warwick sworn that the " Black Dog of Arderne 
would make him feel his teeth." He carried with 
him the unfortunate favourite to his castle of War- 
wick, where, the confederated barons having de- 
cided that he was deserving of death, he was led 
forth to execution without form of trial, and, on 
the i Qth of June, was beheaded on Lowe Hill, 
near the town of Warwick. 

On the ist of February, 1327, Edward the 
Third, then in his fifteenth year, was crowned in 
Westminster Abbey, and the same day he was 
knighted in the palace by his cousin Henry, Earl 
of Lancaster, the double ceremony being followed 
by a magnificent banquet in Westminster Hall. 


Ten years afterward we find the young king 
knighting and conferring the dukedom of Corn- 
wall and the earldom of Chester on his infant 
son, Prince Edward, afterward so celebrated as 
the Black Prince. The ceremony, which took 
place in the palace of Westminster, was followed 
by magnificent banquetings and rejoicings, the 
king, at the same time, creating six other earls. 
Edward himself girded the sword to the side of 
his child, then only six years old; after which 
ceremony the young prince, in virtue of his be- 
coming possessed of the palatinate of Chester, 
conferred knighthood on twenty persons of noble 
family. It may be mentioned that this was the 
first instance of the creation of a duke in England. 
In April, 1341, a very curious scene took place 
in Westminster Palace. John Stratford, Arch- 
bishop of Canterbury, having fallen under the dis- 
pleasure of Edward the Third, was summoned 
to the exchequer to answer the charges brought 
against him. Insisting, however, on the exalted 
rank which he held in the Church, he refused 
to plead before any other tribunal but that of 
Parliament, and, setting the king's authority at 
defiance, he flew to the sanctuary at Canterbury, 
where, "with the dreadful ceremony of bell, book, 
and candle, the bells ringing dolefully, and the can- 
dles being suddenly extinguished with a stench," 
he hurled anathemas at his enemies, and on all 
those who should dare to violate the sacred privi- 


leges of the Church. At last, the king having 
summoned a Parliament to assemble in his palace 
at Westminster, the archbishop repaired privately 
to London, and having prevailed upon the Bishops 
of London and Chester and " a great company of 
clergymen and soldiers " to accompany him, he 
presented himself, armed with all the terrors of the 
Church, at the gate of the palace. Having for- 
mally demanded admittance to the chamber in 
which the Parliament were assembled, and, being 
forbid to enter, in the king's name, by Sir William 
At wood, captain of the king's guard, the arch- 
bishop took the cross from the hands of an attend- 
ant churchman, and, raising it aloft, solemnly 
protested that he would never stir from the spot 
till the king admitted him to his seat in Parlia- 
ment, or explained the reason why he was ex- 
cluded. Some of the bystanders denouncing him 
"as a traitor who had deceived the king and 
betrayed the realm," the archbishop turned pas- 
sionately around to them. "The curse of God," 
he said, "and of his blessed mother, and of St. 
Thomas, and mine, also, be upon the heads of 
those who inform the king so. Amen, Amen ! " 
At this time some of the barons interfered, and, 
being induced to use their good offices with the 
king, Edward consented that the archbishop should 
be brought into the Parliament chamber. After 
some discussion, his case was referred to a tribu- 
nal, consisting of four bishops, four earls, and four 


barons. " On the iQth of April following," says 
Barnes, " being a Thursday, the king came into St. 
Edward's Chamber, commonly called the Painted 
Chamber, before whom, in sight of all the Lords 
and Commons, the archbishop humbled himself, 
and required his gracious pardon ; which, upon the 
whole Parliament's general suit and entreaty, his 
Majesty granted." Within a short time we find 
the archbishop entirely restored to the favour of 
his royal master. 

In May, 1356, John, King of France, who had 
recently been taken prisoner by the Black Prince 
at the battle of Poictiers, was entertained by Edward 
the Third in Westminster Palace with great splen- 
dour. Edward, learning that his gallant son might 
shortly be expected in London with his august 
prisoner, sent to the lord mayor to prepare the 
city pageants, and to receive the French monarch 
with all due honours. Accordingly the triumphal 
procession, for such it was, was joined at South- 
wark by more than a thousand of the principal 
citizens on horseback, who, uniting with the 
prince's cavalcade, passed over London Bridge, 
and thence, through streets hung with tapestry 
and spanned by frequent arches which had been 
erected for the occasion, rode on to Westminster 
Palace, where Edward was anxiously expecting the 
arrival of his illustrious guest. "King John," 
says Barnes, " clothed in royal apparel, was mounted 
on a cream-coloured charger, with splendid trap- 


pings, in token of sovereignty ; and, to be more 
remarkable, the generous Prince of Wales rode 
by his side on a little black hobby, as one that 
industriously avoided all suspicion of a triumph." 
In the meantime, King Edward was seated in great 
state in Westminster Hall, and the French mon- 
arch no sooner entered than he descended from 
his throne, and, after embracing him with great 
courtesy and show of affection, led him to a mag- 
nificent banquet which had been prepared for 

In 1358 Edward the Third kept his Christmas 
with great splendour at Westminster, and on this 
occasion it is not a little curious to find his two 
illustrious captives, John, King of France, and 
David, King of Scotland, both seated at table with 
him at the same time. The English and French 
monarchs seem to have lived on the most friendly 
terms ; the latter, we are told, during the time he 
was lodged in the Savoy Palace, "going as often 
as he pleased privately by water to visit King- 
Edward at his palace of Westminster." 

Were it from no other circumstance, the old 
palace of Westminster would be interesting as the 
spot where Edward the Black Prince breathed 
his last. He expired on the 8th of June, 1376, 
in the " Great Chamber," and was buried at 

" Is the sable warrior fled ? 
Thy son is gone : he rests among the dead." 


The king survived the melancholy event only 
twelve months. He died on the 2ist of June, 
1377, at the palace of Sheen, or Richmond, aban- 
doned in his last moments by his beautiful mistress, 
Alice Piers, and " the other knights and esquires 
who had served him, allured more by his gifts 
than his love." 

" Mighty victor, mighty lord, 

Low on his funeral couch he lies ! 
No pitying heart, no eye, afford 
A tear to grace his obsequies ! " 

The unfortunate Richard the Second constantly 
resided at Westminster, and it was in the chapel 
of the palace, according to Froissart, that he 
was married, on the I4th of January, 1382, to the 
Princess Anne, of Bohemia, sister of the Emperor 
Winceslaus. The ceremony was solemnised with 
extraordinary rejoicings. " At her coming to the 
city of London," says Holinshed, "she was met 
on Blackheath by the mayor and citizens of Lon- 
don in most honourable wise, and so with great 
triumph conveyed to Westminster, where all the 
nobility of the realm being assembled, she was 
joined in marriage to the king, and shortly after 
crowned by the Archbishop of Canterbury with all 
the glory and honour that might be devised. 
There were also holden, for the more honour of 
the said marriage, solemn jousts for certain days 
together, in which, as well the Englishmen as the 


new queen's countrymen, showed proof of their 
manhood and valiancy, whereby praise and com- 
mendation of knightly prowess was achieved, not 
without damage of both parties." 

It was in the palace of Westminster that the 
famous scene occurred, on the 3d of May, 1389, 
when Richard, then in his twenty-second year, 
suddenly declared, before the assembled barons, 
his determination to be no longer a puppet in the 
hands of his uncle, the Duke of Gloucester, but 
to govern by his own authority his kingdom and 
household. Turning to the duke, he inquired of 
him his age. "Your Highness," replied Glouces- 
ter, "is in your twenty-second year." "Then," 
rejoined the young king, " I am of years sufficient 
to govern my own house and family, and also my 
kingdom. Every one at the age of twenty-one is 
held capable of managing his own affairs ; and 
wherefore should I be deprived of a privilege that 
may be claimed by the meanest subject of my 
realm ? I have, as ye know, been long ruled by 
tutors, and restrained from doing anything of the 
least importance without their permission, but I 
am determined that they shall meddle no further 
with matters pertaining to my government, and, 
after the manner of an heir come to lawful age, I 
will call to my council those whom I think proper, 
and dismiss from it others at my own pleasure." 
He then removed the Duke of Gloucester and the 
Earl of Warwick from the council, displaced the 


Bishop of Hereford from the office of treasurer, 
the Earl of Arundel from that of lord admiral, and 
demanding the great seal from the chancellor, 
Thomas Arundel, Archbishop of York, he placed 
it in his bosom, and quitted the apartment. 

On the 7th of June, 1394, Richard lost his 
young queen, Anne of Bohemia. She died at the 
palace of Sheen, and so deeply was Richard affected 
by her loss that he cursed the spot, and ordered 
the apartments which she had been accustomed to 
inhabit to be rased to the ground. The grief, 
however, of the royal widower seems to have been 
as short-lived as it was violent, for sixteen months 
afterward, on the 3ist of October, 1396, he mar- 
ried, at Calais, Isabella, daughter of Charles the 
Sixth, King of France, then only in her eighth 
year, and immediately conducted her to Westmin- 
ster, where her arrival was celebrated with ex- 
traordinary rejoicings. 

On the deposition of the unfortunate Richard, 
and the accession of Henry, Duke of Lancaster, 
as Henry the Fourth, the usurper, on the I2th 
of October, 1399, attended by a cavalcade of six 
thousand horse, proceeded in great state from the 
Tower to Westminster, where he formally took 
possession of the palace of the Confessor. The 
streets through which he passed were hung with 
tapestry, and the conduits flowed with red and 
white wine, and especially the one in the court- 
yard of the palace, where it poured from vari- 


cms mouths. Henry himself, magnificently attired, 
was the observed of all observers. 

"... great Bolingbroke 
Mounted upon a hot and fiery steed, 
Which his aspiring rider seemed to know, 
With slow, but stately pace, kept on his course, 
While all tongues cried God save thee, Bolingbroke ! 
You would have thought the very windows spake, 
So many greedy looks of young and old 
Through casements darted their desiring eyes 
Upon his visage ; and that all the walls, 
With painted imagery, had said at once, 
Jesu preserve thee ! welcome, Bolingbroke ! 
Whilst he, from one side to the other turning, 
Bareheaded, lower than his proud steed's neck, 
Bespake them thus, I thank you, countrymen : 
And thus still doing, thus he passed along." 

King Richard //., Act 2. 

When age had dimmed the eye and disease had 
enfeebled the frame of the once haughty and mag- 
nificent Bolingbroke, and when the wild and dissi- 
pated career of his son, the Prince of Wales, after- 
ward Henry the Fifth, superadded anguish of mind 
to the tortures of the body, it was in the Presence 
Chamber at Westminster that the repentant son 
sought and obtained the forgiveness and blessing 
of his dying father. The enemies of the prince, 
it seems, had not only poisoned the king's mind 
against his son, by the most exaggerated accounts 
of his riotous excesses, but had more than insin- 
uated that the prince entertained the design of 


deposing his father, and that the crowds which 
the former drew around him, "under a show of 
sports and pastimes," resulted from the darkest 
designs. For a considerable time notwithstand- 
ing the increasing coldness of the king's manner, 
and their being consequently almost entirely 
estranged from each other the prince appears 
to have remained in ignorance of the machina- 
tions of his enemies. It was not till the astound- 
ing intelligence was communicated to him that he 
had been superseded as president of the council 
by his younger brother, John, that the truth 
flashed upon him, and, with the natural openness 
and generosity of his disposition, he determined 
on coming to an understanding, and, if possible, 
effecting a reconciliation with his father. 

The means which he took to effect this object 
are curiously characteristic of the manners of the 
period. The king was confined to his sick-cham- 
ber at Westminster, when the prince, attended by 
a large body of his personal friends and retainers, 
made his appearance at the entrance of Westmin- 
ster Hall. Giving a strict injunction to his fol- 
lowers to proceed no farther than the fireplace 
beneath the present lanthorn in the centre of the 
hall, he proceeded, almost alone, into the interior 
of the palace, and sent, with all humility, to re- 
quest an audience with his father. The prince's 
dress has been minutely described by the old 
chroniclers. He was habited in "a rich satin 


suit of clothes, which he caused to be made full 
of eyelet-holes of black silk, the needle hanging 
at every hole, and on his arm he wore a hound's 
collar set full of S.S. of gold, with tyrets of the 
same metal." 

In the selection of this fantastical costume, 
there was doubtless in every ornament, and even 
in its general character of slovenliness, a significa- 
tion and a typical language, of which it is now 
difficult to discover the key. The dog-collar was 
probably intended as an emblem of fidelity, and it 
has been ingeniously pointed out that " the gown 
with needles hanging at the oilet-holes " was 
the academical dress worn on extraordinary occa- 
sions by the scholars of Queen's College, Oxford, 
where Prince Henry had been a student, in 
honour of their founder, Robert Eglesfield, chap- 
lain to Queen Philippa, consort of Edward the 
Third. The prince, therefore, probably intended 
to imply that he was still in a state of tutelage. 

At the moment when the prince demanded an 
interview with his father, the king was lying "gree- 
vouslie diseased," and that powerful monarch 
who had waded through bloodshed to a throne, 
who had been the personal antagonist of Harry 
Hotspur, and who, with his own hand, had slain 
thirty-six persons on the memorable field of 
Shrewsbury shrunk with a nervous abhorrence, 
the effect of disease, from an interview with his 
own son. Henry, however, at last consented to 


an interview, ><in the presence of three or four 
persons, in whom he had much confidence," and 
having been borne from his own apartment to the 
Presence Chamber in an easy chair, demanded, 
with a severe countenance, of his son his object 
in seeking an interview. The future victor of 
Agincourt fell reverently on his knees, and, insist- 
ing passionately on his innocence of any design 
against his father's life or government, drew his 
dagger, and, presenting it to the king, implored 
him to deprive him at once of life, if he had the 
least suspicion of his undutifulness. " I have this 
day," he said, still continuing kneeling, "made 
myself ready by confession and receiving of the 
sacrament ; and I beseech you, most redoubted 
lord, and dear father, for the honour of God, to 
ease your heart of all suspicion as you have of 
me, and to despatch me here before your knees, 
with this same dagger ; and in thus ridding me of 
life, and yourself from all suspicion, here, in the 
presence of these lords, and before God at the day 
of the general judgment, I faithfully protest clearly 
to forgive you." Deeply affected by the passion- 
ate sincerity of the prince's manner, the sick 
monarch threw his arms around his son's neck, 
and, with many tears, assured him that he would 
never again give credit to the insinuations of his 
m aligners. 

There occurred one more memorable interview 
at Westminster Palace between the dying monarch 


and his gallant son, which has been immortalised 
by Shakespeare in his " Second Part of King Henry 
IV." Who, indeed, is there, who has not by heart 
the magnificent poetical passage, where the expiring 
monarch, awakening from his lethargy, discovers 
that the crown, 

" O polished perturbation ! golden care ! 
That keep'st the ports of slumber open wide, 
To many a watchful night," 

had been stolen from his pillow, and, moreover, 
that the purloiner, the "thief o' the night," was 
his own beloved son and expectant heir ? 

" King Henry. Where is the crown ? who took it from my 
pillow ? 

Warwick. When we withdrew, my liege, we left it here. 

King Henry. The prince hath taken it hence: go, seek 

him out, 

Is he so hasty, that he doth suppose 
My sleep my death ? 

Reenter Prince Henry. 

Lo, where he comes, come hither to me, Harry, 
Depart the chamber, leave us here alone. 

Prince Henry. I never thought to hear you speak again. 

King Henry. Thy wish was father, Harry, to that thought : 
I stay too long by thee, I weary thee. 
Dost thou so hunger for my empty chair, 
That thou wilt needs invest thee with mine honours, 
Before thy hour be ripe ? O foolish youth ! 
That seeks the greatness that will overwhelm thee. 
Stay but a little ; for my cloud of dignity 
Is held from falling with so weak a wind, 
That it will quickly drop : my day is dim. 


Thou hast stolen that which, after some few hours, 

Were thine without offence ; and at my death 

Thou hast sealed my expectation : 

Thy life did manifest thou lov'dst me not, 

And thou wilt have me die assured of it. 

Thou hid'st a thousand daggers in thy thoughts ; 

Which thou hast whetted on thy stony heart, 

To stab at half an hour of my life. 

What ! canst thou not forbear me half an hour? 

Then get thee gone ; and dig my grave thyself, 

And bid the merry bells ring to thine ear, 

That thou art crowned, and not that I am dead. 

Let all the tears that should bedew my hearse, 

Be drops of balm to sanctify thy head : 

Only compound me with forgotten dust ; 

Give that, which gave thee life, unto the worms. 

Pluck down my officers, break my decrees ; 

For now a time is come to mock at form, 

Harry the Fifth is crowned." 

The old chroniclers, whom Shakespeare has fol- 
lowed, differ but little in the account which they 
give of the abstraction of the crown by Prince 
Henry. The king had for some time been sub- 
ject to fits, which were usually followed by a 
lethargy, and it was on one of these occasions 
that the prince entered his bedchamber, and, 
conceiving him to be dead, carried away the 
crown, which was "set on a pillow at the bed's 
head," or, according to Montstrelet, "on a cushion 
by the bedside." The king, on awaking, missed 
his crown, and being informed that the prince had 
taken it, he ordered him to be summoned to his 


presence, and demanded of him an explanation of 
his conduct. "Sire," said the prince, "to mine 
and all men's judgments, you seemed dead in this 
world; wherefore I, as your next and apparent 
heir, took the crown as mine own, and not as 
yours." "Well, fair son," replied the king, with 
a deep sigh, "what right I had to it, and how I 
enjoyed it, God knoweth." " My liege," returned 
the prince, " if you die king, I shall have the gar- 
land, and trust to keep it by the sword, as you 
have done, against all mine enemies." "Well," 
said the exhausted king, "I leave all things to 
God, and pray him to have mercy on me." 

Not long after this memorable interview between 
the father and son, the king was performing his 
devotions at the shrine of St. Edward in West- 
minster Abbey, when he was seized with a fit, 
and being carried into the Jerusalem Chamber, 
had strength enough to address some earnest 
words of parting advice to Prince Henry, and 
shortly afterward expired. 

The handsome and warlike Henry the Fifth was 
crowned at Westminster on the Qth of April, 1413, 
and, like most of his predecessors, made the palace 
of the Confessor his constant residence when in 
London. Here he returned in great triumph after 
his splendid victory at Agincourt, in 1415, the lord 
mayor and aldermen attending him through the 
city to the palace gates, "apparelled," says Hall, 
"in grained scarlet, the commoners in beautiful 


murrey, well mounted and gorgeously horsed, with 
rich collars and great chains." Here, the follow- 
ing year, the king " lodged in his own palace," and 
entertained, with gorgeous jousts and tournaments, 
the Emperor Sigismond, and Albert, Duke of Hol- 
land ; hither, in 1421, he conducted in great state 
his fair queen, Katherine, daughter of Charles the 
Sixth, whom he had recently married in France ; 
and lastly, the same year, here we find him en- 
tertaining the chivalrous, the accomplished, and un- 
fortunate James the First of Scotland, who, at the 
queen's coronation feast, was seated at her left hand. 
King Henry died in the Chateau de Vincennes, 
near Paris, on the 3ist of August, 1422, and was 
succeeded by his infant son, the unfortunate 
Henry the Sixth, then only eight months old. 
During the early part of this reign we find but 
few notices of the old palace. Here, however, it 
was, in 1444, that the king was united in marriage 
to the accomplished and high-spirited Margaret 
of Anjou, daughter of Rene, titular King of Sicily, 
Naples, and Jerusalem ; and here on the 1 3th of 
October, 1453, the intrepid queen was delivered 
of her eldest son, the ill-fated Prince Edward. 
This was the child which she held in her arms, 
when, a fugitive after the battle of Hexham, she 
encountered the robber in the forest ; and the same 
prince who, in 1471, was so inhumanly butchered 
by the Dukes of Clarence and Gloucester, after 
the battle of Tewkesbury. 


"... Then came wandering by 
A shadow like an angel, with bright hair 
Dabbled in blood ; and he shrieked out aloud, 
Clarence is come, false, fleeting, perjured Clarence, 
That stabbed me in the field by Tewkesbury ; 
Seize on him, furies, take him to your torments." 

In 1450, " in a tower within the palace of West- 
minster," was imprisoned the once powerful sub- 
ject, Edward de la Pole, Duke of Suffolk. He 
was subsequently tried by his peers in the king's 
chamber, and, being sentenced to banishment, was 
on his way across the channel to France, when 
he was intercepted by his enemies, and his head 
being cut off on the side of a long boat, his body 
was thrown into the sea. In the same year we 
find the king holding his court at Westminster, 
and from hence, on the breaking out of the in- 
surrection of Jack Cade, he flew for refuge to 

It was during the temporary reconciliation be- 
tween the rival houses of York and Lancaster, in 
1459, that the apparently trifling circumstance 
of a "fray" between one of the king's servants 
and a retainer of the " king-maker," Earl of War- 
wick, led to a renewal of hostilities and the shed- 
ding of the most illustrious blood in the kingdom. 
The quarrel, it seems, took place while Warwick 
was attending the king in council, having left his 
retainers in the courtyard of the palace. "A 
fray," says Holinshed, "was made upon a yeo- 


man of the Earl of Warwick by one of the king's 
servants, in the which the assailant was sore hurt, 
but the earl's man fled. Hereupon the king's 
menial servants, seeing their fellow hurt and the 
offender escaped, assembled together and watched 
the earl when he returned from the council-cham- 
ber toward his barge, and suddenly set on him, 
the yeomen with swords, the black guard with 
spits and fireforks. After long fight, and many 
of the earl's men maimed and hurt, by help of his 
friends he got a wherry, and so escaped to London. 
The queen, advertised hereof, incontinently com- 
manded that he should be apprehended and com- 
mitted to the Tower, where, if he had been taken, 
he had shortly ended his days." The earl flew to 
his government at Calais, and immediately both 
parties openly made preparations in every part of 
England for renewing the sanguinary contest. 

In July, the following year, the old palace wit- 
nessed a still more extraordinary scene. The result 
of the battle of Northampton having proved fatal 
to the fortunes of Henry the Sixth, and having 
placed the person of the unfortunate monarch in 
the hands of his enemies, Richard Plantagenet, 
Duke of York (who claimed the throne as rep- 
resentative of Edward the Third), took advantage 
of this favourable opportunity of advancing his 
claims. Attended by a numerous body of his 
friends and their retainers, a naked sword being 
borne before him, and trumpets sounding defiance, 


he proceeded to Westminster, where the Parlia- 
ment was then assembled, and alighted from his 
horse at the great entrance to the palace. " At 
his coming to Westminster," says Holinshed, "he 
entered the palace, and, passing forth directly 
through the great hall, stayed not till he came to 
the chamber where the king and lords used to sit 
in the Parliament time, commonly called the Upper 
House, a chamber of the peers, and being there 
entered, stept up into the throne-room, and there, 
laying his hand upon the cloth of estate, seemed 
as if he meant to take possession of that which 
was his right (for he held his hand so upon that 
cloth a pretty good while), and after withdrawing 
his hand, turned his face toward the people. 
Beholding their pressing together, and marking 
what countenance they made whilst he thus stood 
and beheld the people, supposing they rejoiced to 
see his presence, the Archbishop of Canterbury 
(Thomas Bourchier) came to him, and, after due 
salutations, asked him if he would come and see 
the king ; with which demand he, seeming to take 
disdain, answered briefly, and in a few words thus, 
' I remember not that I know any within this 
realm, but that it beseem eth him rather to come 
and see my person, than I go and see his/ The 
archbishop, hearing his answer, went back to the 
king, that lay in the queen's lodging. The duke 
also departed, and went to the most principal lodg- 
ing that the king had within all his palace, breaking 


up the locks and doors, and so lodged himself 
therein, more like to a king than a duke ; continu- 
ing in the same lodging for a time, to the great 
indignation of many that could not in any wise 
like such presumptuous attempts made by the 
duke to thrust himself in possession of the crown, 
and to depose King Henry who had reigned over 
them so long a time." 

At a subsequent debate, the Duke of York pre- 
sented himself before the assembled peers, and 
forcibly appealed to them as his natural and legal 
judges. He dwelt on the cruelties with which 
the house of Lancaster had paved their way to 
the throne ; insisted on the calamities which had 
attended the misgovernment of Henry, and con- 
cluded by entreating them to do justice to himself, 
who was their legitimate and rightful sovereign. 
The duke had probably anticipated that the peers 
would have invited him to seat himself in the 
vacant throne ; but the only result was an awful 
silence, "the lords," says Hall, " sitting still like 
images graven in the wall, or dumb gods, neither 
whispering nor speaking, as though their mouths 
had been sewed up." The duke, however, had no 
sooner quitted the assembly than the peers entered 
into a solemn discussion as to the legality of his 
claims. The result was, that they declared his 
title to the throne to be certain and indefeasible ; 
but in consideration of King Henry having been 
invested with the regal authority for thirty-eight 


years, they decided that he should retain the 
empty title and dignity of king for the remainder 
of his life ; while the administration of the govern- 
ment was to be transferred to the Duke of York, 
who was declared to be the true and rightful 
heir to the crown which had been worn by his 

These extraordinary proceedings having reached 
the ears of Queen Margaret, that heroic princess, 
trembling for the rights of her young son, as well 
as indignant at her husband's degradation, flew to 
arms, and in a short time had collected an army 
of twenty thousand men. The Duke of York 
hastened to give her battle, and the two armies 
met on the field of Wakefield. The result is well 
known. The queen's troops were successful, and 
the Duke of York being killed on the field of 
battle, his head, by Margaret's orders, was sev- 
ered from his body, and, with a paper crown 
attached to it in derision, was fixed on the gates 
of York. 

Margaret's triumph, however, was of short dura- 
tion. The battle of Mortimer's Cross followed the 
same year, when the Earl of March, afterward 
Edward the Fourth, revenged the death of his 
father, the late Duke of York, by completely 
defeating his adversaries, leaving nearly four thou- 
sand of them dead on the field of battle. 

Marching to London, the young Earl of March 
encamped his victorious troops in St. John's Fields,, 


Clerkenwell, and proceeded to prefer those claims 
to the throne which had previously been advanced 
by his deceased father. His youth and handsome 
person, his affability, his personal courage, and 
numerous accomplishments, had already earned for 
him the suffrages of the people ; and, accordingly, 
a large assemblage of peers, prelates, and magis- 
trates having met at Baynard's Castle, it was 
there determined that King Henry, by violating 
his faith in joining the queen's army, had forfeited 
his claims to the crown, and that it had conse- 
quently fallen to the inheritance of the son of the 
late Duke of York. 

The young king took possession of the crown 
and the palace of his predecessor at the same time, 
and while he was feasting in the regal halls of 
Westminster, the unfortunate Henry was bemoan- 
ing his fate, a prisoner in the gloomy apartments 
of the Tower. On the 4th of March, 1461, the 
day after the conference took place in Baynard's 
Castle, Edward was conducted in solemn state, and 
amidst the cheers of the populace, through the 
city to Westminster. On entering the great hall, 
he took his seat on the throne, with the sceptre of 
Edward the Confessor in his hand ; when, silence 
having been proclaimed, a paper was read aloud 
which stated his claims to the throne, and he was 
then hailed as king by the bystanders. Immedi- 
ately afterward he repaired to the abbey church, 
where, having performed his devotions at the shrine 


of St. Edward, the assembled nobles knelt one by 
one and did homage to him. 

In May, 1465, we find Edward celebrating the 
coronation of his beautiful consort, Elizabeth Grey, 
with great rejoicings at Westminster ; and here, on 
the Qth of April, 1483, the gallant and amorous 
monarch breathed his last. He was buried at 
Windsor, where, in 1789, his body was discovered 
undecayed, his dress being nearly perfect, as were 
also the lineaments of his face. 

During the few months that the unfortunate 
Edward the Fifth was allowed to sit on the throne, 
we find the young king on more than one occasion 
residing in the palace of Westminster. It was in 
one of the apartments of this very palace that, 
a few years before, his father, King Edward the 
Fourth, had created him, with unusual state and 
ceremony, Prince of Wales, Duke of Cornwall, 
and Earl of Chester; there had then knelt and 
sworn fealty to the royal infant, as the undoubted 
heir to the throne, his uncles the Dukes of Clar- 
ence and Gloucester, the Archbishops of Canter- 
bury and York, eight prelates, and all the principal 
nobility of the realm. Who at that moment could 
have foretold the fate which awaited the heir of 
the Plantagenets ? and yet, before twelve years 
had elapsed, one of that assembly had become his 
murderer, and, of the others, scarcely one had 
remained true to the obligation by which they had 
so solemnly bound themselves. 


The Duke of Gloucester, by his talent and his 
crimes, having invested himself with the regal 
power, was proclaimed king on the 2Oth of June, 
1483, by the title of King Richard the Third. 
The same day he proceeded in great state to West- 
minster Hall, where, surrounded by the prelates 
and nobles of the realm, he took his seat in the 
throne of the Plantagenets. He then addressed 
himself to the assembly. " He declared," says 
Holinshed, "that he would take upon him the 
crown in that place there, where the king himself 
sitteth and ministereth the law, because he con- 
sidered that it was the chiefest duty of a king to 
minister the laws. Then, with as pleasant an ora- 
tion as he could, he went about to win unto him 
the nobles, the merchants, the artificers ; and, in 
conclusion, all kind of men, but especially the 
lawyers of the realm. And, finally (to the intent 
that no man should hate him for fear, and that his 
deceitful clemency might get him the good-will of 
the people), when he had declared the discommodi- 
ties of discord, and the commodities of concord 
and unity, he made an open proclamation that he 
did put out of his mind all enmities, and that 
he there did openly pardon all offences committed 
against him. And to the intent that he might 
show a proof thereof, he commanded that one Fog, 
whom he had long deadly hated, should be brought 
then before him ; who, being brought out of the 
sanctuary (for thither he had fled for fear of him), 


in the sight of the people he took him by the 
hand. Which thing the common people rejoiced 
at, but wise men took it for a vanity." 

On the 22d of August, 1485, King Richard paid 
the penalty of his crimes on the field of Bosworth, 
and on the 3Oth of October following, his victori- 
ous rival, the Earl of Richmond, was solemnly 
crowned at Westminster by the title of King 
Henry the Seventh. Here he constantly kept his 
court, but, with the exception of the rejoicings 
attending his coronation, and those which followed 
his marriage with Elizabeth, daughter of Edward 
the Fourth, we find the old palace presenting no 
particular feature of interest during his reign. 

Henry the Eighth was the last of our monarchs 
who have resided or kept their courts in the halls 
of the Confessor. In the early part of his reign, 
the old palace appears to have been the constant 
scene of tournaments, masks, and all kinds of 
pageantries and "solemnities." Here, a few 
months after the marriage of the young king 
with Catherine of Aragon, occurred the following 
scenes, as described by the old chronicler, Hall : 
" On a morning, his Grace (the king), the Earls of 
Wiltshire, 1 Essex, 2 and other noblemen, to the 

1 Lord Henry Stafford, younger son of Henry, second Duke 
of Buckingham, created, by Henry the Eighth, Earl of Wiltshire 
in 1509. He died in 1523. 

2 Henry Bourchier, second Earl of Essex, a nobleman dis- 
tinguished alike for his valour and his virtues. He was held in 
great consideration by Henry the Seventh, in whose reign he was 


number of twelve, came suddenly into the queen's 
chamber, all apparelled in short coats of Kentish 
Kendal, with hoods on their heads, and hoses of 
the same ; every one of them having his bow and 
arrows, and a sword and buckler, like outlaws or 
Robin Hood's men ; whereof the queen, the ladies, 
and all other there were abashed, as well for the 
strange sight, as also for their sudden coming ; 
and, after certain dances and pastime made, they 
departed. On Shrove Sunday, the same year, the 
king prepared a goodly banquet, in the Parliament 
Chamber, for all the ambassadors which were then 
here out of divers realms and countries. The 
banquet being ready, the king, leading the queen, 
entered into the chamber; then the ladies, the 
ambassadors, and other noblemen, followed in 
order. The king caused the queen to keep the 
estate, and then sat the ambassadors and ladies, 

a Privy Councillor, and had an important command at the battle 
of Blackheath. On the accession of Henry the Eighth, he was 
appointed captain of the king's horse guards, then newly con- 
stituted as a body-guard of the sovereign. The corps, we are 
told, consisted of fifty horse, " trapped with cloth of gold, or 
goldsmith's work ; whereof every one had his archer, a demi- 
lance, and coustrill." In 1513, he accompanied his royal master 
into France as lieutenant-general of all the spears, and at the 
famous tournament in 1516, in honour of the king's sister, Mar- 
garet, Queen of Scotland, he was one of the four challengers, 
including the king, the Duke of Suffolk, and Nicholas Carew, 
Esq., who answered all comers. In 1520, the Earl of Essex 
again attended Henry to France, and bore a conspicuous part in 
the magnificent pageantry on the " Field of the Cloth of Gold." 
The earl died, in consequence of a fall from his horse, in 1 529. 


as they were marshalled by the king, who would 
not sit, but walked from place to place, making 
cheer to the queen and the strangers : suddenly 
the king was gone. Shortly after, his Grace, 
with the Earl of Essex, came in apparelled after 
the Turkish fashion, in long robes of bawdkin, 
powdered with gold ; hats on their heads of crim- 
son velvet, with great rolls of gold, girded with 
two swords, called scimitars, hanging by great 
bawdricks of gold. Next came the Lord Henry, 
Earl of Wiltshire, and the Lord Fitzwalter, ' in two 
long gowns of yellow satin, traversed with white 
satin, and in every bend of white was a bend of 
crimson satin, after the fashion of Russia, with 
furred hats of gray on their heads, either of them 
having a hatchet in their hands, and boots with 
pykes turned up. And after them came Sir Ed- 
ward Howard, then admiral, 2 and with him Sir 

1 Robert Ratcliffe, Viscount Fitzwalter, a Knight of the 
Garter, and lord high chamberlain to Henry the Eighth, with 
whom he was an especial favourite. He died in 1 542. 

a Second son of Thomas, second Duke of Norfolk. Some 
years afterward this gallant officer, having received a severe and 
undeserved reproof from his royal master, resolved, in the next 
engagement with the enemy, either to conquer or to die. Accord- 
ingly, when an opportunity offered itself of an engagement with 
a French galley, he ordered his own vessel to be grappled to the 
enemy's; but, while in the act of boarding with eighteen fol- 
lowers, unfortunately the cable was either cut or burst asunder, 
and he was borne overboard by the pikes of the Frenchmen. By 
his will, he " bequeathed to the king's grace his great whistle." 
Henry had recently honoured him with the Order of the Garter, 
but he died before the intelligence reached him. 


Thomas Parr, 1 in doublets of crimson velvet, 
voyded low on the back and before "to the cannell- 
bone, laced on the breasts with chains of silver ; 
and, over that, short cloaks of crimson satin, and 
on their heads hats after the dancers' fashion, with 
pheasants' feathers in them : these were apparelled 
after the fashion of Prussia. The torch-bearers 
were apparelled in crimson satin and green, like 
Moors, their faces black. And the king brought 
in a mommarye. After that the king, the queen, 
and ladies, such as would, had played, the said 
mummers departed, and put off the said apparel, 
and soon after entered into the chamber in their 
usual apparel. And so the king made great cheer 
to the queen, ladies, and ambassadors. The 
supper or banquet ended, and the tables avoyded, 
the queen with the ladies took their places in their 
degrees. Then began the dancing, and every 
man took much heed to them that danced. After 
the king's grace and the ladies had danced a 
certain time, they departed every one to his 

In February, 1511, on the occasion of the 
queen being delivered of a son, we find the old 
palace again the scene of fantastic but splendid 
pageantries. On the second day there was a magnifi- 
cent tournament, on which occasion the king rode 
forth on horseback from under a gorgeous pavilion 
" of cloth of gold and purple velvet embroidered, 

1 Father of Queen Catherine Parr. 


powdered with fine gold." The principal com- 
batants were the king, the Marquis of Dorset, the 
Earl of Wiltshire, Sir Charles Brandon, and Sir 
Thomas Boleyn, among whom, we are told, "his 
Grace attained the prize." After evening song, 
the bevy of "gorgeous dames and barons bold" 
proceeded to one of the halls of the palace, which 
was richly hung for the occasion. Here a mag- 
nificent banquet was provided, at which Henry 
knighted the celebrated Irish chieftain, Shan 
O'Neal, and afterward there was a mask, in which 
the king appeared in a purple satin suit, brocaded 
with "posies." And, then, says Holinshed, "the 
minstrels, which were disguised, danced, and the 
lords and ladies danced, that it was a pleasure to 

From this period, the old palace of the Confes- 
sor ceased to be associated with the domestic 
history of the Kings of England. In 1512 a 
considerable portion of it was destroyed by fire, 
and from this time, till St. James's Palace was 
made an appanage of the Crown and till Whitehall 
passed from the hands of Cardinal Wolsey into 
those of Henry, we find the king holding his 
court either at Baynard's Castle, Bridewell, or the 

Before concluding our memoir of the old palace, 
let us briefly notice those interesting parts of it, of 
which the ancient walls still exist, or of which the 
site has been well ascertained. 


Apparently the most ancient part is the apart- 
ment facing the abbey at present used as the 
House of Commons, but which, previously to the 
fatal fire of 1834, was the House of Lords, and 
was hung with the famous tapestry, representing 
the victories over the Spanish Armada, which was 
unfortunately destroyed by the conflagration. In 
the reign of Henry the Seventh, and up to a much 
later period, this apartment was known as the Court 
of Requests, being so called from the petitions, or 
requests, addressed to the king, being usually re- 
ceived here by the officers of state. That it is 
a portion of the ancient palace of the Confessor 
there can be little doubt ; indeed, it has been 
presumed, and not without reason, that it was 
the banquet ing-room of the early Norman kings, 
before the erection of the great hall by William 

The next apartment, and the most interesting 
one perhaps of which there are any remains, is the 
Painted Chamber, so often mentioned in the annals 
of the old palace as St. Edward's chamber. It 
is now temporarily used as the House of Lords, 
having been new roofed after the fire of 1834, 
and its walls raised to suit this particular purpose. 
This apartment will always be deeply interesting, 
as that in which, it is said, Edward the Confessor 
breathed his last, Edit ha, his queen, and his un- 
fortunate successor, King Harold, watching by his 
bedside. As early as the reign of Edward the 


.Third, we find it designated as " Le Chambre de 
Peinte" and the delight, therefore, of our an- 
tiquaries may be readily imagined when, on the 
removal of some old tapestries, in 1800, the an- 
cient paintings, from which it derived its name, 
were discovered on the walls. Considering their 
antiquity, they were possessed of considerable and 
unexpected merit. They represented the battles 
of the Maccabees; the Seven Brethren; the de- 
livery of the ring and the message from St. John 
the Evangelist to Edward the Confessor, and 
lastly the canonisation of the royal saint. It is 
difficult to believe that, since the days of the 
Goths, and, much less in the nineteenth century, 
such utter and inconceivable want of taste and 
feeling should have existed as could permit the 
destruction of these priceless relics. It is a fact, 
however, that the authorities of the day sanctioned 
their being coated over with whitewash ; and it is 
rumoured, though the fact is scarcely credible, that 
the same want of taste has sanctioned the destruc- 
tion of one of the most interesting apartments in 
Europe, the Painted Chamber itself. 

When, in 1337, a war was threatened between 
England and France, it was in the Painted Chamber 
that Edward the Third received, in great stat'e, 
the cardinal ambassadors from Pope Benedict the 
Twelfth, who came with the express purpose of 
effecting a reconciliation between the two coun- 
tries. Here, in the time of the Norman kings,. 


the opening of new Parliaments usually took place, 
and here, during the latter part of the reign of 
Edward the Third, the Commons of England held 
their debates. It was not, indeed, until the two 
last Parliaments which were held in this reign, 
that the Commons were directed to withdraw to 
their ancient place of assemblage in the Chapter 
House of Westminster ; the latter building being 
remarkable as the spot where the Commons first 
sat as a distinct body apart from the Lords. 

It was the Painted Chamber which witnessed 
the memorable scene of the regicides affixing their 
signatures to the death-warrant of Charles the 
First. It was seated at a table in this chamber, 
that Oliver Cromwell, immediately after affixing 
his signature to the warrant for the execution of 
his sovereign, jocularly besmeared with his pen 
the face of Henry Marten, who sat next him, and 
who retorted the miserable jest. Here, too, it was, 
partly by force, and partly by jest and argument, 
that Cromwell induced the well-known Colonel 
Ingoldesby to add his signature to those of the 
other regicides. Ingoldesby happened to enter 
the Painted Chamber, where he found Cromwell 
and some of the most daring spirits of the party 
assembled in consultation. They consisted of such 
persons as had already decided on the king's death, 
and who were now met together to affix their names 
to the memorable instrument. "As soon," says 
Lord Clarendon, "as Cromwell's eyes were on 


him, he ran to him, and, taking him by the hand, 
drew him by force to the table, and said, ' Though 
he had escaped him all the while before, he should 
now sign that paper as well as they ; ' which he, 
seeing what it was, refused with great passion, 
saying he knew nothing of the business, and of- 
fered to go away. But Cromwell and others held 
him by violence, and Cromwell, with a loud laugh- 
ter, taking his hand in his, and putting the pen 
between his fingers, with his own hand writ Rich- 
ard Ingoldesby, he making all the resistance he 

In the Painted Chamber lay in state the body 
of Elizabeth Claypole, the favourite daughter of 
Oliver Cromwell, previously to its interment in 
Westminster Abbey ; and here also was the rest- 
ing-place, between the palace of Whitehall and 
Henry the Seventh's Chapel, of the neglected 
remains of the "merry monarch," Charles the 
Second. Here lay in state the body of the great 
Earl of Chatham, and afterward that of his scarcely 
less celebrated son, William Pitt. 

At the south end of the old Court of Requests 
was the prince's chamber, or, as it was designated 
in our own times, the " Old Robing Room," from 
the sovereign being in the habit of robing himself 
here when he attended Parliament. The founda- 
tions, as well as the walls of the apartment itself, 
were apparently of the time of the Confessor, but 
the ornamental part had generally been attributed 


to the reign of Henry the Third. Formerly this 
apartment was hung with some curious tapestry, 
representing the birth of Queen Elizabeth. Anne 
Boleyn was depicted in bed with an attendant on 
one side, and the nurse with the royal infant on the 
other, Henry and his courtiers standing at some 
distance. It was to this apartment that Lord 
Chatham was carried when he was seized with 
his memorable and fatal illness in the House of 
Lords. Immediately between the north end of the 
old Court of Requests and the south end of West- 
minster Hall appears to have ran the White Hall, 
or Great Chamber, of the ancient palace, mem- 
orable from having been the scene of many re- 
markable events in the history of our country, 
but more especially as having been the apartment 
where Edward the Black Prince breathed his last. 
At the east end of the Painted Chamber stood 
the old House of Lords, the foundations of which 
were of the time of the Confessor, while the apart- 
ment itself had the appearance of having been 
rebuilt in the reign of Henry the Second. This 
was the ancient " Parliament Chamber," so often 
mentioned in the annals of the old palace, and 
beneath it was the vault, known as Guy Fawkes's 
cellar, in which the conspirators, associated in the 
Gunpowder Plot, concealed the barrels of powder 
with which they proposed to destroy the king and 
his Parliament. Among the principal conspira- 
tors were Thomas Percy, a cadet of the great 


Northumberland family ; Robert Catesby, Esq., 
of Ashby in Northamptonshire; Thomas Winter, 
a gentleman by birth ; and Guy Fawkes, a soldier 
of fortune. The plan by which they proposed to 
carry out their horrible project was by hiring a 
house as near as possible to the Parliament Cham- 
ber, by which means they hoped to be able to 
open a subterranean communication between the 
cellar of the one and the foundations of the other. 
Accordingly, a house which exactly suited their 
purpose was hired in the name of Percy, and was 
taken possession of by Fawkes, who passed as his 
servant, and was presumed to be the only tenant. 
The month of December, 1604, was fixed upon by 
the conspirators to commence their labours, and 
accordingly, on a dark night, they were admitted 
by Fawkes, and forthwith set to work at their 
detestable operations. In order to prevent the 
suspicion of the neighbours, they laid in a store of 
provisions sufficient to last them twenty days ; at 
the same time providing themselves with arms, 
being determined, in case of discovery, to perish 
rather than fall into the hands of the government. 
The perseverance with which they set to work at 
their demoniacal task was deserving a better cause. 
Each person worked sixteen hours a day, so con- 
triving it that, while one rested, the three others 
laboured ; Fawkes, in the meanwhile, keeping 
watch from the windows, and communicating to 
the others, by some private signal, whenever any 


person approached the house. At length they 
came to a wall, which, though three yards in 
thickness, they had nearly succeeded in breaking 
through, when they were not a little alarmed at 
hearing on the other side a noise, for which they 
could in no way account. Fawkes was immediately 
despatched to make inquiries ; he soon returned 
with the information that the noise proceeded 
from a vault under the Parliament Chamber ; that 
this vault was at present let as a magazine for 
coals, and that these coals were then selling off, 
when the vault would be let to the highest bidder. 
The opportunity was eagerly seized by the con- 
spirators ; the vault was taken by Fawkes in the 
name of his presumed master, Percy, and thirty- 
six barrels of gunpowder were forthwith stowed 
in it. These were covered over with fagots and 
billets of wood, and, to prevent suspicion, the 
doors were boldly thrown open in the daytime, 
and everybody freely admitted. 

The extraordinary circumstances which led to 
the discovery of the dreadful secret are too well 
known to need repetition. It is sufficient to 
observe that suspicion was no sooner aroused than 
the lord chamberlain and his attendants pro- 
ceeded to examine the vaults and cellars beneath 
the houses of Parliament, disguising their real 
object with the ostensible purpose of searching 
for some missing tapestry. On entering the cellar 
beneath the peers' chamber, they were struck 


with the quantity of coals and fagots which it 
contained, altogether disproportionate to the small 
establishment kept up by Percy, whose property 
the fuel was said to be. The suspicions of the 
lord chamberlain were not the less aroused, when, 
in a dark corner, he beheld Fawkes, " a very tall, 
desperate-looking fellow," who, in answer to his 
inquiries, stated that he was servant to Percy. 

The next day was that on which Parliament was 
appointed to assemble, and, accordingly, it was 
decided that the same night another and more 
rigorous search should be instituted, and espe- 
cially in the cellar in which Fawkes had been 
discovered. With this purpose, about midnight, 
Sir Thomas Knyvet, a justice of peace for West- 
minster, proceeded to the spot with a strong body 
of attendants, and had the good fortune to arrest 
Fawkes just as he was issuing stealthily from the 
cellar. He was dressed and booted as for a journey, 
and, on searching him, three matches, a tinder-box, 
and a piece of touch-wood, were found in his pocket, 
and in a corner behind the door was a dark lan- 
tern with a light in it. Further search was then 
made ; the fagots were removed, and the whole 
plot was made but too apparent. Fawkes subse- 
quently admitted that, at the time he was seized, 
he had just completed his preparations for firing 
the train. 

Let us pass on to the site of the famous chapel 
of St. Stephen. It would be almost an imperti- 


nence to recall to the reader's recollection the 
numerous historical events with which this inter- 
esting building is associated, or to recapitulate the 
names of the numerous illustrious statesmen whose 
eloquence has been heard within its walls. 

' St. Stephen's ! on the silent Thames no more 
Thy shadows lengthen where they fell of yore ; 
Yet still we tread the memorable scene, 
Of days gone by, and triumphs that have been ; 
Scene of the patriot's tear, the statesman's toil ; 
Approach with awe ! we stand on sacred soil ! 
Here wit and goodness thrilled or won the heart, 
A Cato's virtue, or a Tully's art ! 
Here earlier senates held the high debate, 
Here Pym and Hampden sealed their monarch's fate ! 
Here virtuous Falkland wept the patriot tear, 
Here, lordly Strafford, dawned thy high career ! 
Here Cromwell, thundering with his iron band, 
Thrust forth the sovereign Commons of the land ; 
From yonder table dashed the bauble mace, 
And swept the mighty from their pride of place ! 
Here St. John's angel-eloquence arose, 
And Walpole won, and Chatham crushed, his foes ! 
Pause ! for here Pitt a wondering senate fired, 
Here Burke blazed forth, and Perceval expired ! 
Here Erin's wrongs from Grattan's heart were wrung, 
And England's glories burst from Canning's tongue ! " 


St. Stephen's Chapel, an integral part of the 
old palace in which the Norman kings offered up 
their devotions, was originally founded by King 
Stephen, and rebuilt by Edward the First. Being 


considerably injured by the "vehement fire" of 
1298, Edward the Second commenced rebuilding 
it, and in the following reign of Edward the Third, 
after a labour of seventeen years, it was completed 
with an elaborateness and magnificence of decora- 
tion which rendered it a model of perfection as a 
specimen of the purest style of Gothic architec- 
ture. The walls were covered with paintings in 
oil, of great richness and beauty ; the windows 
were gorgeously illuminated ; and all the internal 
fittings and ornaments, the jewels, the hangings 
of the altar, and the vestments of the priests, cor- 
responded in beauty and costliness with its archi- 
tectural splendour. 

A few years after the suppression of the mo- 
nastic establishments, this beautiful chapel was 
converted into a House of Commons ; many of 
its decorations had previously fallen a sacrifice to 
the fury of the Reformation, and now its beautiful 
roof was concealed by a false ceiling, and its 
unique oil paintings by a wooden wainscoting. 
In 1800, it being found necessary to enlarge the 
House of Commons in consequence of the union 
with Ireland, the panelling was removed, when a 
considerable portion of the old paintings was 
brought to view, and it was seen how costly and 
elaborate had been the architectural and the other 
decorations of this beautiful chapel. The fatal 
fire of 1834 completed the work of destruction, 
and of those who witnessed that awful but mag- 


nificent scene, there were few perhaps who felt 
without a sigh that they would never again tread 
the floor of that famous apartment, where the 
Commons of England had sat for nearly three 
centuries, or who did not recall the time when 
Charles the First came with his armed band ta 
remove the "five members," or when Cromwell 
ordered his Ironsides to remove the " bauble " 
mace. When the author, for the last time, trod 
the floor of St. Stephen's, the fire was still partially 
issuing from beneath, and the walls were tottering 
above his head. The beautiful crypt, or under- 
chapel, still remains to us, but St. Stephen's itself 
has passed away for ever. 

Old and New Palace Yards are not without 
their historical associations. In the former, Guy 
Fawkes, with his associates, Thomas Winter, Am- 
brose Rookwood, and Robert Keyes, were hanged, 
drawn, and quartered ; their heads being subse- 
quently affixed to poles on London Bridge, and 
their quarters exposed on different gates of the 
city. The house occupied by the conspirators, in 
which, in darkness and stealth, they carried on 
their underground operations, was situated at the 
northeast corner of Old Palace Yard. 

Perhaps the event which throws the deepest 
interest over Old Palace Yard is its having been 
the scene of the execution of Sir Walter Raleigh. 
He was brought from the Tower, on the morning 
of the 29th of October, 1618, and, though suffer- 


ing severely from illness, maintained his dignity 
and fortitude to the last. On ascending the scaf- 
fold, he observed to the bystanders : " I desire you 
will bear with me withal ; and if I show any weak- 
ness, I beseech you to attribute it to my malady, 
for this is the hour in which it is wont to come." 
Having concluded his well-known beautiful prayer, 
" Now," he said, " I am going to God." Taking up 
the axe, he felt its edge, and said, smilingly : " This 
is a sharp medicine, but it will cure all diseases." 
The executioner inquiring in what manner he pro- 
posed to lay his head upon the block, " So the 
heart be straight," he said, " it is no matter which 
way the head lieth." Having lain down, and the 
executioner showing some hesitation in striking 
the blow, " What dost thou fear ? " he said, " strike, 
man ! " His head was then severed from his body 
at two blows. 

In the time of the Commonwealth, there was 
a well-known place of entertainment in Old Palace 
Yard, known by the singular denomination of 
" Heaven." Butler speaks of it in " Hudibras " 
as " false < Heaven ' at the end of the hall ; " and 
Pepys mentions his dining there in 1659-60. " I 
sent a porter," he says, " to my house for my best 
fur cap, and so I returned and went to ' Heaven,' 
where Luellin and I dined." About the same 
time, a club, called the Rota, was founded by the 
celebrated James Harrington, at Miles's Coffee- 
house, in Old Palace Yard. Pepys was a mem- 


her of the club, and more than once mentions the 
"admirable discourse " which he heard there. 

Before quitting Old Palace Yard, we must not 
omit to mention that when the celebrated poet, 
Geoffrey Chaucer, held the appointment of clerk of 
the works at Westminster, in the reign of Richard 
the Second, his residence stood on the spot where 
Henry the Seventh's Chapel now stands, and here 
apparently he died. By a curious writ, dated the 
1 3th of July, 1389, the poet was appointed clerk 
of the works at the palace of Westminster, the 
Tower of London, the Mews near Charing Cross, 
and other places, with a salary of two shillings a day. 

In New Palace Yard anciently stood a hand- 
some conduit or fountain, which, according to 
Stow, on the occasion of great triumphs, was 
"made to run with wine out of diverse spouts." 
And opposite the hall, on the site of the present 
passage into Bridge Street, was a lofty tower 
called the Clock Tower. 

In regard to this tower, the following rather 
curious story is related. In the reign of Henry 
the Third, a certain poor man having been fined 
the sum of thirteen and fourpence in an action 
for debt, Radulphus de Ingham, Lord Chief Jus- 
tice of the King's Bench, commiserating his case, 
caused the court roll to be erased, and the fine 
to be reduced to six shillings and eightpence; 
which, being soon afterward discovered, the judge 
was sentenced to pay a fine of eight hundred 


marks. This sum, it is said, was expended on 
building the Clock Tower, in which there was a 
bell or a clock, which, striking hourly, was intended 
to remind the judges in the hall of the fate of 
their brother. There seems to have been some 
truth in the story. In the reign of Queen Eliza- 
beth, when Catlyn, Lord Chief Justice of the 
King's Bench, proposed to a brother judge to 
have a court roll erased, " No," said the other, " I 
have no inclination to build a clock-house." The 
bell, or Clock Tower, was pulled down in 1715, 
when the ancient bell was granted to the dean 
and chapter of St. Paul's Cathedral, and some time 
afterward was recast. On it was inscribed the 
following doggerel distich : 

" Tertius aptavit me rex, Edwardque vocavit, 
Sancti decore Edwardi signaretur ut hora," 

signifying that the king gave the bell and called 
it Edward, in order that the hours of the neigh- 
bouring Abbey of St. Edward the Confessor might 
be properly denoted. In the reign of Queen Eliza- 
beth the name of the bell seems to have been 
changed to Tom of Westminster, at least if we 
may judge by the following couplet : 

Hark ! Harry, 'tis late, 'tis time to be gone, 
For Westminster Tom, by my faith, strikes one." 

In New Palace Yard, extending from the north- 
east corner of Westminster Hall in the direction of 


the bridge, stood the old buildings of the Exchequer, 
containing the despotic and terrible Star Chamber, 
with its thousand dark but interesting associa- 
tions. The name is generally supposed to have 
been derived from the stars with which the ceiling 
was anciently decorated ; but, according to Black- 
stone, it was from the Starra (corrupted from the 
Hebrew Shetar), or Jewish covenants, which were 
deposited here by Richard the First. According 
to some accounts, the Painted Chamber was the 
original Star Chamber in the time of the Norman 
kings. At all events, the Exchequer buildings, 
which contained the Star Chamber of Queen Eliza- 
beth and Charles the First, dated no further back 
than the reign of the former sovereign. Well 
does the author remember the interesting old 
apartment, with its panelled walls, and its curious 
oaken roof divided into compartments, and orna- 
mented with roses, portcullises, and fleurs-de-lis. 
It was pulled down within the last few years; 
when, to the disgrace of the authorities, the old 
panelling and the oak ceiling, with its interesting 
ornaments, for which many would have given large 
sums, and would have preserved with religious 
care, were sold as fire-wood, or were probably 
converted to even some baser purpose. 

When, in September, 1498, the unsuccessful 
attempt of Perkin Warbeck on the city of Exeter 
delivered him into the merciless hands of Henry 
the Seventh, the young, the handsome, and accom- 


plished adventurer was conducted to London in a 
kind of mock triumph ; and, in order to complete 
his humiliation, was placed in the stocks before 
the great entrance to Westminster Hall. " Incon- 
tinently," says Holinshed, " Perkin was brought 
to the court at Westminster, and was one day set 
fettered in a pair of stocks before the door of 
Westminster Hall, and there stood a whole day, 
not without innumerable reproaches, mocks, and 
scornings ; and the next day he was carried through 
London, and set upon a like scaffold in Cheapside, 
by the Standard, with like gins and stocks as he 
occupied the day before, and there stood all day, 
and read openly his own confession, written with 
his own hand." The following year the unfortu- 
nate youth was arrested in an unlucky attempt to 
escape from the Tower, and was hanged at Tyburn 
on the 23d of November, 1499, the companion of 
his flight, the Earl of Warwick, being beheaded 
on Tower Hill a few days afterward. 

On the same spot, in front of Westminster Hall, 
on which Perkin Warbeck sat in the stocks, was 
subsequently erected the scaffold on which per- 
ished, at the same time, James, first Duke of 
Hamilton, the devoted adherent of Charles the 
First, the gay and handsome Earl of Holland, and 
the gallant and high-minded Lord Capel. On the 
9th of March, 1649, ^ ess than six weeks after 
the decapitation of their royal master, the three 
prisoners were conducted from St. James's Palace 


to the residence of Sir Robert Cotton, at the upper 
end of Westminster Hall, a house of some note, 
from so many great and unfortunate men having 
at different times partaken of its melancholy hos- 
pitality in their last step to the grave. After a 
short respite which was allowed them to prepare 
for the fatal stroke, they were conducted through 
the hall to the scaffold. "It was a remarkable 
scene," writes Horace Walpole, " exhibited on the 
scaffold on which Lord Capel fell. At the same 
time was executed the once gay, beautiful, gallant 
Earl of Holland ; whom neither the honours show- 
ered on him by his prince, nor his former more 
tender connections with the queen, could preserve 
from betraying, and engaging against both. He 
now appeared sunk beneath the indignities and 
cruelty he received from men, to whom and from 
whom he had deserted; while the brave Capel, 
who, having shunned the splendour of Charles's 
fortunes, had stood forth to guard them on their 
decline, trod the fatal stage with all the dignity of 
valour and conscious integrity." 

The Duke of Hamilton was the first who was 
brought forth to execution. The judges were sit- 
ting as he passed through Westminster Hall, and 
from their seat had a full view of the scaffold. 
Entertaining hopes of a reprieve to the last, and 
with a natural longing for life, he lingered for some 
time in the hall, till the Earl of Denbigh coming 
up to him and whispering in his ear that there was 


no hope, he forthwith mounted the scaffold, and, 
after an address to the multitude, submitted him- 
self to the stroke of the executioner with great 
fortitude and composure. 

The once gay and graceful Holland came next, 
his steps tottering and his cheeks blanched by 
severe illness. So weak was he that it was with 
extreme difficulty that he could harangue the peo- 
ple. Walker, in his " History of Independency," 
supplies us with some interesting particulars relat- 
ing to his last illness. "After some divine con- 
ference with Mr. Bolton for near a quarter of an 
hour, and having spoken to a soldier that took him 
prisoner, and others, he embraced Lieutenant- 
Colonel Beecher, and took his leave of him, after 
which he came to Mr. Bolton, and having embraced 
him/ and returned him many thanks for his great 
pains and affection to his soul, he prepared him- 
self for the block ; whereupon, turning to the 
executioner, he said, ' Here, my friend, let my 
clothes and my body alone ; there is ten pounds 
for thee ; that is better than my clothes. I am 
now fit. And when you take up my head, do not 
take off my cap.' Then taking farewell of his 
servants, he kneeled down and prayed for a pretty 
space with much earnestness. Then going to the 
front of the scaffold, he said to the people, * God 
bless you all ; God give all happiness to this king- 
dom, to this people, to this nation/ Then laying 
himself down, he seemed to pray with much affec- 


tion for a short space; and then lifting up his 
head, seeing the executioner by him, he said, * Stay 
while I give the sign ; ' and presently after, stretch- 
ing out his hand, and saying, ' Now ! now ! ' just 
as the words were coming out of his mouth the 
executioner at one blow severed his head from 
his body." 

Lord Capel was the last who was summoned to 
the fatal stage. He passed through Westminster 
Hall with a serene countenance, greeting his friends 
and acquaintance as he went along. Having as- 
cended the scaffold, he inquired whether the other 
lords had addressed the people bareheaded. Being 
informed that such was the case, he took off his 
hat, and delivered that fine, effective appeal which, 
more than any other circumstance at the time, ele- 
vated the character of monarchy, and served to 
disgust the people with their fanatical and republi- 
can leaders. " Like Samson," says Heath, " he 
did the Philistines more harm by his death than 
he had done by his life." Lord Capel's demeanour 
at the last afforded a beautiful picture of dignified 
innocence and Christian fortitude. Lord Claren- 
don says : " After some prayers very devoutly pro- 
nounced upon his knees, he submitted himself, 
with an unparalleled Christian courage, to the fatal 
stroke which deprived the nation of the noblest 
champion it had." " He was a man," says Clar- 
endon elsewhere, "that whoever shall after him 
deserve best of the English nation, he can never 


think himself undervalued when he shall hear that 
his courage, virtue, and fidelity are laid in the 
balance with and compared with those of Lord 
Capel." Even Cromwell, though he refused to 
save his life, did honour to the talents which he 
feared, and the unbending probity which it would 
have been well if he had imitated. 

During the last century New Palace Yard, from 
the convenience which its open space afforded, 
was frequently the scene where criminals were ex- 
posed on the pillory. When the celebrated John 
Wilkes had the boldness to republish his famous 
No. 45 of The North Briton, so obnoxious to 
George the Third and his ministers, it was in the 
New Palace Yard that his unlucky publisher, Mr. 
John Williams, a bookseller in Fleet Street, was 
made to stand in the pillory on the I4th of Feb- 
ruary, 1765. The result, however, was very differ- 
ent from what the ministers either hoped, or per- 
haps anticipated. Instead of pelting the offender 
with filth and stones, the mob hailed his appear- 
ance on the pillory with repeated cheers. He was 
brought in a kind of triumph to and from Palace 
Yard, in No. 45 hackney-coach, and even the 
driver, partaking of the general enthusiasm, refused 
to be remunerated for his trouble. In ridicule of 
the prime minister, Lord Bute, a Scotch bonnet, 
a jack-boot, and an axe were suspended near the 
pillory, and after dangling there for some time 
a fire was lighted, the top of the boot was cut off, 


and, together with the bonnet, was burnt amidst 
the laughter and acclamations of the people. While 
this was going on, a gentleman put a guinea into 
a large purse, and, handing it among the crowd, 
collected no less than two hundred guineas for the 
benefit of the political martyr. 

New Palace Yard was anciently surrounded by 
a wall in which there were four gates : one on the 
east, leading to Westminster Stairs, of which some 
remains existed within the last few years ; another 
to the north, where Bridge Street now stands ; a 
third on the west, taken down in 1706 ; and a fourth 
leading into Old Palace Yard, which was demol- 
ished as late as 1731. 



Its Erector The Hall for the Coronation and Banquetings of 
the English Kings Extraordinary Scenes and Remarkable 
Trials Which Have Occurred There from the Time of 
William Ruf us Till the Present Day. 

WESTMINSTER HALL is perhaps the most inter- 
esting apartment in Europe ; to an Englishman it 
is unquestionably so. Who is there, indeed, whose 
philosophy is so cold, or whose heart is so dead to 
every poetical or romantic feeling, as to be able 
to cross, without deep emotion, the threshold of 
the colossal banqueting-room of the Norman kings, 
associated as it is in our minds with so many 
scenes of gorgeous splendour, so many events of 
tragical interest ? Here our early monarchs sat 
personally in judgment on their subjects ; here, on 
its vastest scale, was displayed the rude but mag- 
nificent hospitality of the Middle Ages ; here a 
long line of sovereigns the Norman, the Tudor, 
the Plantagenet, and the Stuart have sat at 
their gorgeous coronation banquets ; here Edward 
the Third embraced his gallant son, when the 
"sable warrior" returned from the bloody field 


of Poictiers conducting a monarch as his captive ; 
and here were the trial-scenes of the young and 
accomplished Essex, the stately Stafford, and the 
ill-fated Charles the First ! 

Westminster Hall, it is almost needless to re- 
mark, was originally erected by William Rufus, to 
serve as a banqueting-hall to the palace of the 
Confessor. It was completed in 1099, in which 
year we find him keeping his court beneath its 
roof. " In this year," writes Matthew Paris, 
"King William, on returning from Normandy 
into England, held, for the first time, his court 
in the new hall at Westminster. Having entered 
to inspect it, with a large military retinue, some 
persons remarking that it was too large, and 
larger than it should have been, the king replied 
that 'it was not half so large as it should have 
been/ and that it was only a bedchamber in com- 
parison with the building which he intended to 
make." This same year, according to Stow, Will- 
iam Rufus kept his Whitsuntide in the palace of 
Westminster, and feasted in his new banqueting- 
hall "very royally." 

Henry the First, King Stephen, and Henry the 
Second were severally crowned in the abbey of 
Westminster, and doubtless kept their coronation 
feasts in the old hall. Here also Henry, the eldest 
son of Henry the Second, was crowned in the life- 
time of his father, and the banquet in Westmin- 
ster Hall, which followed, is rendered not a little 

View inside Westminster Hall. 

Photo-etching from an old engraving. 


remarkable from the following scene, as described 
by one of the old chroniclers. "The king," says 
Holinshed, " upon that day served his son at the 
table as sewer, bringing up the boar's head, with 
trumpets before it, according to the usual manner. 
Whereupon the young man, conceiving a pride in 
his breast, beheld the standers-by with a more 
stately countenance than he had wont. The Arch- 
bishop of York, who sat by him, marking his 
behaviour, turned unto him, and said, ' Be glad, 
my good son, there is not another prince in the 
world hath such a sewer at his table.' To this the 
new king answered, as it were disdainfully, ' Why 
dost thou marvel at that ? My father, in doing it, 
thinketh it not more than becometh him ; he being^ 
of princely blood only on the mother's side, serveth 
me that am a king born, having both a king to my 
father, and a queen to my mother.' Thus the 
young man, of an evil and perverse nature, was 
puffed up with pride by his father's unseemly 

During the reigns of Richard the First and 
King John we find no particular notices of West- 
minster Hall, but, as both these monarchs were 
crowned and kept their courts at Westminster, 
they must often have banqueted beneath its roof. 

On the occasion of his marriage, in January, 
1236, with Eleanor, daughter of Raymond, Earl 
of Provence, and her subsequent coronation, we 
find Henry the Third giving a magnificent banquet 


in Westminster Hall. " At the nuptial feast," says 
Matthew Paris, " were assembled such a multitude 
of the nobility of both sexes, such numbers of 
the religious, and such a variety of stage-players, 
that the city of London could scarcely contain 
them. In the procession, the Earl of Chester 
bore before the king the sword of Edward the 
Confessor. The High Marshal of England (the 
Earl of Pembroke) carried a rod before the king, 
both in the church and in the hall, making way 
for the king, and arranging the guests at the royal 
table. The barons of the Cinque Ports bare a 
canopy over the king, supported on five spears. 
The Earl of Leicester held water for the king to 
wash before dinner, and the Earl of Warenne 
officiated as the royal cup-bearer, in lieu of the 
Earl of Arundel, who was a youth not yet 
knighted. Master Michael Belet had the office 
of butler ; the Earl of Hereford was marshal of 
the king's household ; William de Beauchamp was 
almoner. The justiciary of the forests removed 
the dishes from the king's table ; the citizens of 
London poured the wine abundantly into precious 
cups ; the citizens of Winchester had oversight 
of the kitchen and napery. The chancellor, the 
chamberlain, the marshal, and the constable, took 
their seats with reference to their offices ; and all 
the barons in the order of their creation. The 
solemnity was resplendent with the clergy and 
knights, properly placed ; but how shall I describe 


the dainties of the table, and the abundance of 
diverse liquors, the quantity of game, the vari- 
ety of fish, the multitude of jesters, and the atten- 
tion of the waiters ? Whatever the world pours 
forth of pleasure and glory was there especially 

Such was a royal banquet in the thirteenth cen- 
tury ! The same year we find the king entertain- 
ing six thousand poor men, women, and children, in 
Westminster Hall and the adjoining apartments of 
the palace. 

In 1241 Henry entertained the Pope's legate, 
Otho, with great magnificence in Westminster 
Hall, and, on the 5th of January following (St. 
Edward's Day), he feasted a vast assemblage of 
guests, consisting chiefly of the citizens of Lon- 
don, who, it appears, were summoned to attend by 
a royal edict, subject to a penalty of one hundred 
shillings if they absented themselves. The last 
entertainment which we shall mention in this reign 
was a magnificent one given by the king in West- 
minster Hall, in 1244, in honour of the marriage 
of his brother, Richard, Earl of Cornwall, with 
Cincia of Provence, sister of the Queens of France 
and England. According to Matthew Paris, as 
many as thirty thousand dishes were prepared for 
the nuptial banquet. 

A few years afterward, Westminster Hall pre- 
sented an extraordinary and almost awful scene. 
Henry the Third had so often broken faith with 


his barons and his people ; so often, when he re- 
quired their assistance, had he made solemn vows 
to regard the ancient charters of the realm, and so 
often had he disregarded them in the hour of his 
prosperity, that when, in 1253, he was reduced to 
the last extremity for want of money, it was only 
by agreeing to bind himself by an obligation far 
more awful and solemn than any of his preceding 
ones, and by consenting to submit to excommuni- 
cation and all the anathemas of the Church, in the 
events of his failing in his engagement, that the 
barons and clergy were induced to aid him in his 
distress. It was decided that the ceremony should 
take place in Westminster Hall, under every cir- 
cumstance which could tend to make it solemn and 
impressive. There were assembled there, on the 
3d of May, the king, the nobles, the prelates, and 
the heads of the great ecclesiastical establishments ; 
the churchmen, clad in their ecclesiastical robes, 
bearing each a lighted taper in his hand. For 
some reason a lighted taper was offered to the 
king, but he declined it, saying pointedly, " he was 
no priest ; " while at the same time, to evince his 
sincerity, he offered to "keep his hand upon his 
breast during the proceedings." The scene which 
followed may be more readily imagined than de- 
scribed. In the midst of a solemn silence, the 
Archbishop of Canterbury arose from his seat, and 
in the most awful language invoked the curse of 
Heaven on whomsoever should hereafter infringe 


the charters of the realm. At the moment when 
the frightful anathema was passing his lips, the 
torches were thrown smoking and stinking on 
the ground, and the voice of the archbishop rose 
to a louder pitch; "thus," he said, "be extin- 
guished, and stink, and smoke in hell, all those 
who dare to violate the charters of the kingdom." 
After a short pause, the king himself arose, and, 
with his hand still on his heart, exclaimed, in a 
no less solemn manner, " So may God help me, 
I will inviolably~observe all these things, as I am 
a man and a Christian, and a knight, and a crowned 
and anointed king." It is possible Henry may 
have been sincere at the moment, but how indif- 
ferently he kept his solemn oath, history has left 
us a melancholy record. 

The only other incident of any interest con- 
nected with Westminster Hall, in the reign of 
Henry the Third, was an extraordinary and bloody 
fracas, arising out of an ancient feud, which took 
place in 1269, between John de Warenne, Earl of 
Surrey, and Sir Alan la Zouche, one of the king's 
justices, in which both of these powerful subjects 
appear to have taken a part with their followers. 
Sir Alan, being closely pressed by his enemies, 
flew toward the king's chamber, and had nearly 
reached it, when he was pierced by the swords of 
his pursuers. The latter immediately took boat, 
and flew to seek a place of concealment on the 
other side of the river, leaving their victim welter- 


ing in his blood. His groans soon attracted the 
ear of the king and his son, Prince Edward, who 
were naturally not a little indignant at so gross 
an outrage having been perpetrated so near the 
domestic apartments of the sovereign. It affords 
a ' curious feature of the manners of the times, 
that De Warenne immediately sought refuge and 
fortified himself in his castle of Reigate ; nor was 
it by the force of the royal authority, but through 
the mediation of the Duke of Gloucester, and 
Henry, son of the King of Almaine, that he was 
induced to submit to the king's mercy. The earl 
escaped with a fine and penance, but Sir Alan was 
less fortunate, and died shortly afterward of the 
effect of his wounds. 

On the death of Henry the Third, which took 
place on the i6th of November, 1272, we find his 
son proclaimed with all due honours in West- 
minster Hall, as King Edward the First. Here 
also, on the iQth of August, 1274, on the occasion 
of his coronation and his marriage with Eleanor 
of Castile, we find the young and chivalrous mon- 
arch celebrating the double ceremony in the hall 
of Rufus, with extraordinary magnificence. The 
nuptial banquet, moreover, was graced by the pres- 
ence of Alexander, King of Scotland, and the 
chosen of the Scottish nobility. "The King of 
Scotland," says the old chronicler, Henry de 
Knyghton, "was accompanied by one hundred 
knights on horseback, who, as soon as they had 


dismounted, turned their steeds loose for any one 
to catch and keep that thought proper. Then 
came Edmund, Earl of Cornwall, the king's 
nephew, and the Earls of Gloucester, Pembroke, 
and Warenne, each having in their company a 
hundred illustrious knights, wearing their lord's 
armour ; and when they had alighted from their 
palfreys, they also set them free, that whoever 
chose might take them unquestioned. And the 
aqueduct in Cheapside poured forth white wine 
and red, like water, for those who would to drink 
at pleasure." 

Edward the Second was crowned at West- 
minster on the 25th of February, 1308, and 
Westminster Hall was apparently the scene of the 
magnificent banquetings and rejoicings which ac- 
companied that event, as well as that of his mar- 
riage, the same year, with Isabella, the beautiful 
daughter of Philip le Bel, King of France. When 
the misconduct of the weak and voluptuous mon- 
arch compelled his barons to rise in arms against 
him, we find him a fugitive at one time in the 
north of England, and, a short time afterward, 
seated on his throne in Westminster Hall, sur- 
rounded by all the pomp of royalty, and knelt to 
by all the magnates of the land. It was only on 
the i Qth of June, 1312, that the associated barons 
caused his beloved favourite, Piers Gaveston, to be 
dragged from the dungeons of Warwick Castle 
to the block; and yet, on the i6th of October, 


the following year, while yet in his heart breathing 
resentment against the murderers of his minion, 
we find the barons kneeling submissively to him 
in Westminster Hall, and, in a full assemblage 
of the people, expressing their contrition, and 
acknowledging his clemency. 

Four years afterward, while the king was still 
pursuing his career of libertinism and misrule, the 
following remarkable occurrence took place in 
Westminster Hall. "This year," says the old 
monkish historiographer, Walsingham, "the king 
celebrated the feast of Pentecost in the great hall 
at Westminster, where as he sat in the royal seat 
at the table, in the presence of the great men of 
his kingdom, there entered a woman adorned with a 
theatrical dress, sitting on a fine horse with corre- 
sponding trappings ; who, after the manner of 
players, made a circuit around the tables, and at 
length ascended the steps to the table of the 
king, and laid before him a certain letter; then, 
reining back her steed and saluting the guests, she 
retired as she came. The king had the letter 
opened, that he might know its contents, which 
were as follows : ' His lordship, the king, shows 
little courtly consideration for his knights, who in 
his father's time, and in his own, have exposed them- 
selves to various dangers, and have spent or dimin- 
ished their substance in their service ; while others 
who have not borne the weight of business, have 
been abundantly enriched.' When these things 


were heard, the guests, looking upon one another, 
wondered at the boldness of the woman, and the 
porters or doorkeepers were blamed for having 
suffered her to enter ; but they excused themselves, 
answering that it was not the custom at the royal 
palace in any way to prohibit the entrance of play- 
ers, especially at the solemn festivals. Persons 
were then sent after the woman, who was easily 
found, taken, and committed to prison ; and being 
required to tell why she had acted in such a man- 
ner, she truly replied that she had been induced to 
do it by a certain knight for a proper reward. The 
knight being sent for, and brought before the king, 
in reply to inquiries, nothing fearing, boldly con- 
fessed himself author of the letter, and avowed 
that he had consulted the king's honour in what 
he had done. Therefore the knight by his con- 
stancy rendered himself deserving of the king's fa- 
vour, with abundant gifts, and the woman was 
released from prison." 

In August, 1321, when the Spencers had suc- 
ceeded Piers Gaveston in the affections of the weak 
monarch, we find the barons of England assem- 
bling in Westminster Hall, and signing a sentence 
of banishment on the obnoxious favourites, under 
the penalty of death should they ever return to the 
kingdom. Lastly, speaking of this unhappy reign, 
it was in Westminster Hall, a few months before 
Berkeley Castle echoed with the shrieks of the 
agonising king, that the barons proclaimed him 


incapable of governing the realm, and announced 
to the assembled people that the prince, his son, 
had been invited to ascend the throne. 

Edward the Third was knighted and crowned at 
Westminster on the same day, the ist of February, 
1327, and afterward kept his coronation feast with 
great magnificence in the hall. Many years after- 
ward, when Edward the Black Prince returned 
victorious from the battle of Poictiers with John, 
King of France, as his captive, we find Edward the 
Third seated on his throne in Westminster Hall, 
in the midst of his nobles and prelates, anxiously 
expecting the arrival of his august prisoner and 
valiant son. When the trumpets announced that 
they were approaching the hall, the king descended 
from his throne, and receiving the King of France 
with the same kindness as if he had been a neigh- 
bouring monarch come to pay him a friendly visit, 
led him courteously to a banquet which had been 
prepared for him. When Edward and his gal- 
lant son subsequently endeavoured to console 
the French king for his misfortunes, the latter 
answered with a mournful smile in the words of the 
Psalmist, " How shall we sing in a strange land ? " 

Richard the Second, the day before his corona- 
tion, proceeded in a magnificent procession from 
the Tower to Westminster, where he took posses- 
sion of the palace of his ancestors. " On arriving 
at Westminster," we are told, " with the princes, 
nobles, and many others of his lieges, he entered 


the great hall of the palace, and going up to the 
high marble table, he asked for wine, which being 
brought he drank of it, as did others standing 
around him. The king then retired with the 
princes and his family to his chamber, where he 
supped royally, and, having bathed becomingly, 
retired to rest." The following day, the i6th of 
July, 1377, Richard was crowned with great state 
in the abbey, and after the ceremony partook of 
the usual banquet in the hall ; the nobility, the 
prelates, and the great officers of state, being 
seated at different tables. " During the entertain- 
ment," we are told, " the lord steward, the constable, 
and the earl marshal, with certain knights deputed 
by them, rode about the hall on noble coursers, to 
preserve peace and order among the people. All 
that time, the Earl of Derby stood at the king's 
right hand, holding the principal sword drawn from 
its scabbard. The Earl of Stafford performed the 
office of chief carver. Dinner being finished, the 
king arose and went to his chamber, with the prel- 
ates, great men, and nobles, before mentioned. 
Then the great men, knights, and lords passed the 
remainder of the day until supper-time, in shows, 
dances, and solemn minstrelsy ; and having supped, 
the king and the others retired to rest, fatigued 
with their exertions in the ceremonies of this mag- 
nificent festival." At this early period, we find 
Sir John Dymoke, as possessor of the manor of 
Scrivelsby, in Lincolnshire, claiming to be the 


king's champion, riding into Westminster Hall in 
full armour. " Having furnished himself," says 
Walsingham, "with the best suit of armour save 
one, and the best steed save one, from the king's 
armoury and stable, he proceeded on horseback, 
with two attendants, the one bearing his spear, and 
the other his shield, to the abbey gates, there to 
await the ending of the mass. But the lord mar- 
shal, the lord seneschal, and the lord constable, 
being all mounted on their great horses, went to 
the knight and told him that he should not have 
come so soon ; wherefore, he had better retire, and, 
laying aside his weighty armour, rest himself until 
the proper time." The champion, it appears, took 
their advice, and withdrew till the king took his 
seat at the banquet in the hall. 

When the associated barons, headed by the 
king's uncle, Thoinas of Woodstock, Duke of 
Gloucester, took up arms, in 1387, against the 
unfortunate Richard the Second, we find them 
assembled with their armed retainers in Westmin- 
ster Hall, waiting for an interview with their sov- 
ereign. It is curious to find, in the records of 
the days of chivalry, how extraordinary was the 
respect paid by the nobles to their king, even 
when they had drawn their swords from the scab- 
bard, and were prepared to encounter him on the 
battle-field. On this occasion, we are told by 
Holinshed, " the king, when he heard they were 
come, apparelled himself in his kingly robes, and, 


with his sceptre in his hand, came into the great 
hall at Westminster. The lords, as soon as they 
had sight of him, made him their humble obei- 
sance, and went forward till they came to the 
nether steps going up to the king's seat of state, 
where they made their second obeisance, and then 
the king gave them countenance to come nearer 
to him." This display of courtesy, however, was 
but the prelude to a storm ; the barons loudly 
denouncing Robert de Vere, Duke of Ireland, and 
others of the king's council, as traitors to their 
sovereign and their country, and concluding by 
throwing down their gauntlets on the floor, and 
offering to prove the truth of what they asserted 
by single combat. With some difficulty they were 
pacified by Richard, who solemnly promised to sum- 
mon a Parliament, when their grievances should be 
taken into full consideration. Having thus suc- 
ceeded in lulling the storm, at least for a season, 
the king could not altogether conceal the indigna- 
tion which he felt at the barons having the bold- 
ness to appear in arms in his presence. " Have I 
not armed men," he said, " sufficient to have beaten 
you down, compassed about like deer in a toil, if 
I would ? Truly, in this behalf, I make no more 
account of you than of the vilest scullion in my 
kitchen." During this remarkable scene it is not 
a little curious to find the haughty barons, includ- 
ing even the king's uncle, the Duke of Gloucester, 
kneeling the whole time before the king. At the 


conclusion, however, of the interview, he raised 
them from their knees with great courtesy, and 
led them to one of the apartments of the palace, 
in which a banquet had been prepared for them. 

On the 3Oth of September, 1399, the day after 
the unfortunate Richard had formally renounced 
the crown in the Tower of London, Westminster 
Hall witnessed a far more memorable scene than 
the foregoing. The hall had recently been 
" hung and trimmed sumptuously ; " the prelates 
and barons were in their respective places ; the 
throne alone was vacant ! In the midst of a pro- 
found silence the Archbishop of York arose, and 
read aloud the renunciation of the king. His 
abdication having been accepted by the Parlia- 
ment, there was again a solemn silence, when 
Henry Bolingbroke, Duke of Lancaster, rising 
from his seat, and making the sign of the cross 
on his forehead and breast, said aloud : " In the 
name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, 
I, Henry of Lancaster, challenge this realm of 
England and the crown, with all the members 
and appurtenances, as that I am descended by right 
line of the blood, coming from the good lord King 
Henry the Third ; and through the right that 
God, of his grace, hath sent me, with help of my 
kin and of my friends to recover it ; the which 
realm was in point to be undone for default of 
governance, and undoing of good laws." This 
speech was followed by loud cries of " Long live 


Henry the Fourth ! " In proof of Richard having 
resigned the regal authority to him, Henry pro- 
duced the signet ring of the abdicated monarch ; 
and the assembly having unanimously admitted his 
rights, the Archbishop of Canterbury approached 
him, and led him toward the vacant throne. On 
reaching the steps which led to it, he knelt down 
for a short time in silent prayer, and was then 
placed in it by the Archbishops of Canterbury 
and York, amidst the renewed acclamations of the 

Shakespeare, in his tragedy of "Richard the 
Second," has made the dethroned monarch an 
actor in this memorable scene : 

" Boling. Fetch hither Richard, that in common view 
He may surrender ; so we shall proceed 
Without suspicion. 

Enter King Richard. 

K. Richard. Alack, why am I sent for to a king, 
Before I have shook off the regal thoughts 
Wherewith I reigned ? I hardly yet have learned 
To insinuate, flatter, bow, and bend my knee ; 
Give sorrow leave awhile to tutor me 
To this submission. 

Now mark me how I will undo myself : 
I give this heavy weight from off my head, 
And this unwieldy sceptre from my hand, 
The pride of kingly sway from out my heart;. 
With my own tears I wash away my balm, 


With mine own hands I give away my crown, 
With mine own tongue deny my sacred state, 
With mine own breath release all duteous oaths : 
All pomp and majesty I do forswear ; 
My manors, rents, revenues, I forego ; 
My acts, decrees, and statutes, I deny ! 
God pardon all oaths, that are broke to me ! 
God keep all vows unbroke, are made to thee ! 
Make me, that nothing have, with nothing grieved, 
And thou with all pleased, that hast all achieved ! 
Long mayst thou live in Richard's seat to sit, 
And soon lie Richard in an earthly pit ! 
God save King Henry, unkinged Richard says, 
And send him many years of sunshine days ! 
What more remains ? " 

Shakespeare correctly places the scene in West- 
minster Hall, but it is not the case that the abdi- 
cated monarch was a witness of the triumph of his 

To the ill-fated Richard the Second we are in- 
debted for the magnificent old hall as it now stands. 
Under his auspices it was greatly strengthened and 
beautified, the present matchless roof having been 
added, and the exterior coated with thick walls of 
stone. At its completion in 1398, it must have 
presented nearly the same appearance which it 
wears at the present day. As an apartment, it is 
said to be the largest in Europe, and its mas- 
sive timber roof is perhaps the finest specimen of 
similar scientific construction in the world. 

Henry the Fourth was crowned at Westminster 


on the 1 2th of October, 1399, and the same day 
presided at a sumptuous banquet in the hall ; the 
two archbishops, and several of the other prelates, 
sitting at the same table with him, and Dymoke, 
the champion, entering the hall " mounted upon a 
goodly steed, barbed, with crimson housings ; " the 
herald, who accompanied him, vociferating the usual 

Henry the Fifth, the victor of Agincourt, was 
also crowned at Westminster, but of the sub- 
sequent feastings and ceremonies in the hall we 
find no particular record. In 142 1, however, on the 
occasion of the coronation of his queen, Katherine, 
daughter of Charles the Sixth of France, we find 
the ceremony in the abbey followed by a sump- 
tuous entertainment in Westminster Hall ; the 
queen being seated on a throne "at the marble 
table at the upper end of the hall," the Archbishop 
of Canterbury sitting on one side of her, and the 
King of Scotland on the other. The menial offices 
were performed by the principal nobility ; the Duke 
of Gloucester, as "over-looker," stood bareheaded 
before the queen, and on her right knelt the Earl 
of March holding a sceptre, and on her left the 
earl marshal. During the ceremony, the Earl of 
Worcester performed one of the duties of the earl 
marshal, by riding up and down the hall "on a 
great courser," to preserve order. 

Henry the Sixth was crowned at Westminster 
in his tenth year, but, with the exception of the 


closing scene of his reign, we find it but rarely 
connected with the old hall. Under its roof it 
was, in 1460, that the memorable scene took 
place, when the assembled prelates and nobles 
declared that King Henry had forfeited the 
crown, and that it had descended by right to 
the Earl of March, afterward Edward the Fourth. 
During these proceedings, Edward was seated on 
the throne of the Plantagenets, holding the sceptre 
of Edward the Confessor in his hand, and, as soon 
as they were concluded, the hall reverberated with 
loud shouts of " Long live King Edward the 
Fourth ! " 

During the reign of Edward the Fourth, and 
that of his son and successor, Edward the Fifth, 
Westminster Hall is but rarely mentioned ; nor 
is it till the usurpation of the "crooked-backed" 
Richard the Third, that we again find it the scene 
of regal hospitality. It was in this hall, on the 
day of his being proclaimed king, that Richard 
made his famous Jesuitical speech to his subjects, 
which was intended to deceive and win all hearts ; 
and here also, after the ceremony of his coronation, 
on the 6th of July, 1483, we find him presiding 
at a magnificent entertainment. The procession, 
which took place to and from the abbey, must 
have been gorgeous in the extreme. First issued 
forth the trumpets and clarions, the sergeants-at- 
arms, and the heralds, bearing the king's heraldic 
insignia; then followed the bishops and abbots, 


their mitres on their heads, and their croziers in 
their hands, the Bishop of Rochester carrying the 
cross before Cardinal Bourchier, Archbishop of 
Canterbury; then the Earl of Northumberland 
carrying the sword of state ; the Duke of Suffolk 
with the sceptre ; the Earl of Lincoln with the 
cross and globe ; and the Earls of Kent and Sur- 
rey, and Lord Lovel, carrying other swords of 
state. Immediately before the king walked the 
Duke of Norfolk, bearing the crown, and after him 
came Richard himself, dressed in robes of purple 
velvet. On each side of him walked the Bishops 
of Bath and Durham ; his train was held up by the 
Duke of Buckingham ; and the gorgeous canopy 
over his head was supported by the barons of 
the Cinque Ports. The procession was closed by 
a long train of earls and barons. 

After the procession of the king had passed, 
came that of the queen. Her sceptre was borne 
by the Earl of Huntington ; the Viscount Lisle 
carried the sceptre and dove, and the Earl of Wilt- 
shire, her crown. Then came the queen herself, 
having "on her head a circlet of gold, with many 
precious stones set therein ; " over her head was 
borne a " cloth of estate ; " on each side of her 
walked the Bishops of Exeter and Norwich, and 
the Countess of Richmond, mother of Henry the 
Seventh, supported her train. After the queen 
came Catherine, Duchess of Suffolk, the queen's 
sister, walking in the procession by herself ; and 


after her followed a long train of ladies, who were 
succeeded by another train of knights and esquires. 

At the banquet in the hall, the king and queen 
were served on dishes of gold and silver ; Lord 
Audley performed the office of state carver, 
Thomas, Lord Scrope, of Upsal, that of cup- 
bearer; Lord Lovel, during the entertainment, 
standing before the king, and " two squires lying 
under the board, at the king's feet." As soon as 
the second course was put on the table, " the king's 
champion, Sir Robert Dymoke, rode into the hall, 
his horse trapped with white silk and red, and him- 
self in white harness ; the heralds of arms standing 
upon a stage among all the company. Then the 
king's champion rode up before the king, asking, 
before all the people, if there was any man would 
say against King Richard the Third, why he should 
not pretend to the crown. And when he had so 
said, all the hall cried ' King Richard,' all with one 
voice. And when this was done anon one of the 
lords brought unto the champion a covered cup 
full of red wine, and so he took the cup and 
uncovered it, and drank thereof; and when he 
had done, anon he cast out the wine and covered 
the cup again ; and, making his obeisance to the 
king, turned his horse about, and rode through 
the hall, with his cup in his right hand, and that 
he had for his labour." 

If the chronicles of Westminster Hall present 
us with many gorgeous scenes of historical inter- 


est, they also afford us, in the changeful fortunes 
of many an illustrious name, no less striking pic- 
tures of the vicissitudes of human life, and of the 
mutability of human greatness. In 1484, we find 
King Richard keeping his Christmas in the old 
hall with great magnificence, and yet only eight 
months were allowed to elapse before King Henry 
the Seventh celebrated his coronation feast in the 
same apartment, wearing, during the gorgeous ban- 
quet, the same crown on his head which had been 
taken from the bloody corpse of his predecessor 
on the field of Bosworth. 

The palace of Westminster appears to have been 
constantly the residence of Henry the Seventh. 
With the exception, however, of his coronation 
feast, and of its having been the scene of his nup- 
tial banquet, on the occasion of his marriage with 
Elizabeth, eldest daughter of Edward the Fourth, 
I am not aware that the hall presents any particu- 
lar feature of interest during his reign. 

In June, 1509, Henry the Eighth solemnised 
both his coronation and his marriage with Cather- 
ine of Aragon at Westminster, and, considering 
his taste for splendour, the old hall was, doubtless, 
on these occasions the scene of extraordinary rev- 
ellings and rejoicings. A few years afterward, 
however, a scene very different from a nuptial 
banquet took place in Westminster Hall. Accord- 
ing to Stow, " a great heart-burning and malicious 
grudge had grown amongst the Englishmen of 


the city of London against strangers, the artificers 
finding themselves much aggrieved because such 
a number of strangers were permitted to resort 
hither with their wares, and to exercise handi- 
crafts, to the great hindrance and impoverishing 
of the king's liege people." Exasperated by the 
injury done to their trade, the artisans and the 
'prentices of London were sure to take part with 
them in any such affray appear to have insulted, 
and even beat a foreigner wherever they could fall 
in with one. This was in the days when the cry 
of " 'Prentices, 'prentices ! clubs, clubs ! " was for- 
midable not only to the city authorities, but to the 
government itself. At length the excitement grew 
to such a pitch that it was commonly believed, 
according to Stow, that " on May-day next follow- 
ing, the city would slay all the aliens ; insomuch 
that diverse strangers fled out of the city." The 
fears of the government were now thoroughly 
aroused, and accordingly orders were issued to the 
aldermen of the different wards, enjoining them 
that no man should quit his house after nine 
o'clock in the evening of the ist of May, but 
should keep his doors closed, and his servants 
within, till the same hour the following morning. 
But for a trifling circumstance the dreaded day, 
" Evil May Day," as it was afterward styled, 
would probably have passed away without blood- 
shed or riot, even though a May-day in the reign 
of Henry the Eighth was an important periodical 


occurrence, a favourite festival of dancing and 
feasting, when the heads of the young 'prentices 
were bewildered for weeks before with visions of 
arbours decorated with bright scarfs and ribbons, 
of streamers waving from the May-pole tree, and 
around it light forms advancing and receding in 
the dance, their bright eyes beaming with love 
and pleasure, and their glossy hair encirled with 
the youngest flowers of the year. As old Her- 
rick beautifully describes such a scene in the days 
of Queen Elizabeth : 

a Pve heard them sweetly sing, 
And seen them in a round ; 
Each maiden, like a spring, 
With honeysuckles crowned." 

Many a youth and many a maiden were proba- 
bly disappointed of happiness on May-day, 1547; 
but, as we have already mentioned, the day would 
probably have passed away with merely suppressed 
sighs, or perhaps suppressed maledictions, had it 
not been for a trifling occurrence. One of the 
aldermen, on going his rounds, chanced to find 
two young men playing at " bucklers " in Cheap- 
side, in the midst of their companions, when he 
somewhat peremptorily threatened to send them 
to the compter. Words arose between them, and 
in the midst of the altercation the war-cry of 
the city of London, " 'Prentices, 'prentices ! clubs, 
clubs ! " disturbed the stillness of the night. In 


an incredibly short space of time every door was 
thrown open, and 'prentices, servants, and water- 
men joined in the fray. Finding themselves mas- 
ters of the field of battle, and having beaten every 
reinforcement which the lord mayor sent against 
them, they proceeded to gut and destroy the house 
of every foreigner of whom they could find any 
trace. The work of demolition continued till three 
o'clock in the morning, when, a great number 
having retired to their beds, the lord mayor seized 
his opportunity, and captured three hundred of 
the rioters. Seven days afterward one John Lin- 
coln, their reputed leader, and about twelve others, 
were hanged, while the remainder, many of them 
women and boys, were reprieved at the king's 
mercy ; the queen and Henry's sisters, the Queens 
Dowager of France and Scotland, who were then 
in England, remaining on their knees before the 
king till he promised to spare their lives. 

If we have wandered too long away from the 
old hall, it was for the purpose of introducing the 
curious sequel to the riots of " Evil May Day." 
"Thursday, the 22d of May," says Hall, "the 
king came into Westminster Hall, for whom, at 
the upper end, was set a cloth of estate, and the 
place hanged with arras ; with him went the cardi- 
nal, the Duchess of Norfolk and Suffolk, etc. The 
mayor and aldermen were there, in their best 
livery, by nine of the clock. Then the king com- 
manded that all the prisoners should be brought 


forth. Then came in the poor younglings and old 
false knaves, bound in ropes, all along, one after 
another, in their shirts, and every one a halter 
about his neck, to the number of four hundred 
men and eleven women. And when all were come 
before the king's presence, the cardinal rose, laid 
to the mayor and commonalty their negligence, 
and to the prisoners he declared they had deserved 
death for their offence. Then all the prisoners 
together cried, ' Mercy, gracious lord, mercy ! ' 
Then the lords altogether besought his Grace for 
mercy, at whose request the king pardoned them 
all. And then the cardinal gave unto them a good 
exhortation, to the great gladness of the hearers. 
And when the general pardon was pronounced, all 
the prisoners shouted at once, and altogether cast 
up their halters into the hall roof, so that the king 
might perceive they were none of the discreetest 
sort." In the crowd were several of the leaders 
of the riot, who had hitherto contrived to evade 
justice, but who no sooner ascertained the favour- 
able turn which affairs were taking than they 
"suddenly stripped them into their shirts, with 
halters," and mingling with the other offenders 
received pardon with the rest. 

On the 1 3th of May, 1521, Westminster Hall 
witnessed the trial scene of that once all-powerful 
subject, Edward Stafford, Duke of Buckingham, 
Lord High Constable of England, and lineally 
descended from King Edward the Third. Great 


preparations were made for the trial, which was 
conducted in solemn state before the Duke of Nor- 
folk, sitting as lord high steward, and twenty- 
two other peers. Having been found guilty of 
high treason, and sentence of death having been 
passed upon him, the duke, in a calm and dignified 
manner, addressed the court. " My Lord of Nor- 
folk," he said, "you have said as a traitor should 
be said to ; but I was never any. I nothing malign 
you for what you have now done to me, and may 
the Eternal God forgive you my death, as I do. I 
shall never sue to the king for life ; howbeit, he is 
a gracious prince, and more grace may come from 
him than I desire. I beseech you, my lords, and 
all my fellows, to pray for me." 

" I have this day received a traitor's judgment, 
And by that name must die ; yet Heaven bear witness, 
And, if I have a conscience, let it sink me, 
Even as the axe falls, if I be not faithful ! 
The law I bear no malice for my death ; 
It has done, upon the premises, but justice ; 
But those that sought it, I could wish more Christians : 
Be what they will, I heartily forgive them : 
Yet let them look they glory not in mischief, 
Nor build their evils on the graves of great men ; 
For then my guiltless blood must cry against them. 
For further life in this world I ne'er hope, 
Nor will I sue, although the king have mercies 
More than I dare make faults. You few that loved me, 
And dare be bold to weep for Buckingham, 
His noble friends, and fellows, whom to leave 
Is only bitter to him, only dying, 


Go with me, like good angels, to my end ; 
And as the long divorce of steel falls on me, 
Make of your prayers one sweet sacrifice, 
And lift my soul to Heaven. Lead on in God's name." 
Henry ///., Act 2, Scene I. 

The duke was reconducted to the Tower, and 
three days afterward was beheaded on Tower Hill, 
where he died with great composure, attended by 
the lamentations of the people. 

In July, 1535, the trial of the wise and witty 
Sir Thomas More, for denying the king's suprem- 
acy, took place in Westminster Hall. Notwith- 
standing the eloquence of his defence, he was 
found guilty, and sentenced to be hanged, drawn, 
and quartered ; a sentence which the king after- 
ward commuted for decapitation, and which was 
carried into effect on Tower Hill on the 6th of 
the month. An affecting scene took place as this 
great man was being led from the bar in West- 
minster Hall. His son forced his way through 
the crowd, and, falling on his knees in a passion 
of grief, besought the blessing of his condemned 

Edward the Sixth was crowned in Westminster 
Abbey, on the 2Oth of February, 1547, and after 
the ceremony partook of his coronation feast in the 
old hall. The young king himself tells us in his 
journal, that on his entering the hall "it was asked 
the people whether they would have him to be 
their king, and they answered, ' Yea, yea.' " At the 


conclusion of the banquet we find him dubbing 
thirty-five "Knights of the Carpet." 

On the ist of December, 1552, the great Pro- 
tector, Duke of Somerset, uncle to the king, was 
brought from the Tower to Westminster Hall, to 
undergo his memorable trial on charges of treason 
and felony. " The lord treasurer, the Marquis of 
Winchester/' says Hay ward, " sat as high steward, 
under a cloth of state, on a bench mounted three 
degrees ; the peers, to the number of twenty-seven, 
sitting on a bench one step lower." He was 
acquitted of the charge of treason, but being found 
guilty of the felony, the object of his enemies was 
fully answered, and he was condemned to death. 
On the 22d of the following month, the duke was 
led forth to Tower Hill, where he submitted him- 
self to the stroke of the executioner with a digni- 
fied fortitude and resignation. 

The next trial of any importance which we find 
taking place in Westminster Hall, was that of 
Charles, seventh Baron Stourton, who was ar- 
raigned here, on the 26th of February, 1557, 
for the foul murder of two gentlemen, William 
and John Hartgill, father and son, who were his 
neighbours in Somersetshire. Having been found 
guilty, and sentenced to be hanged, he was placed 
on a horse's back, with his arms pinioned behind 
him and his legs tied under the horse's belly, and 
thus conveyed by slow stages to Salisbury, in the 
market-place of which town the sentence was car- 


ried into effect. The only distinction made be- 
tween him and an ordinary malefactor was his 
being hanged with a silken halter. 

Queen Mary was crowned in Westminster Ab- 
bey, and in all probability kept her coronation 
feast in Westminster Hall, as did also her sister 
and successor, Queen Elizabeth, on the I5th of 
January, 1559. " She dined," says Holinshed, "in 
Westminster Hall, which was richly hung, and 
everything ordered in such royal manner as to 
such a regal and most solemn feast appertained.'* 

During the reign of Queen Elizabeth, more than 
one state trial of deep interest took place in West- 
minster Hall. That of Thomas Howard, Duke of 
Norfolk, who died for his romantic attachment 
to Mary, Queen of Scots, presented an imposing 
and magnificent scene. The trial took place on 
the i6th of January, 1572, George Talbot, Earl 
of Shrewsbury, presiding as Lord High Steward of 
England. "A scaffold," says Camden, who was 
present at the trial, "was erected in the midst of 
the hall, reaching from the gate to the upper end, 
where there was a tribunal built, with seats on 
both sides ; such a sight as had not been seen full 
eighteen years." 

Being called upon to answer the charges, the 
duke strenuously entreated to be allowed the aid 
of counsel. Being answered by the lord chief 
justice, that counsel was never allowed to criminals 
charged with high treason, " Then," said the duke, 


"to-day I must plead for my life, my estate, my 
children, and, which is above all, my honour. If I 
die innocent, God will be sure to avenge my 
cause." The clerk of the Crown then asked him : 
"Thomas, Duke of Norfolk, art thou guilty of 
the crimes with which thou art charged, or no ? " 
The duke answering, " Not guilty," then, said the 
clerk, "How wilt thou be tried?" to which the 
duke replied, " To God, and to these peers, I com- 
mend my cause." 

The duke having been found guilty, the lord 
steward asked him if he had anything to object 
why sentence should not be passed upon him, to 
which he replied : " God's will be done ; he will 
judge between me and my false accusers." Silence 
being again proclaimed, and the edge of the axe 
having been turned toward the duke, Barham, the 
queen's sergeant-at-law, rose from his seat, and 
called upon the high steward in the queen's name 
to pass sentence. With tears in his eyes, the lord 
steward then proceeded to pronounce the dreadful 
sentence of the law. "Forasmuch," he said, "as 
thou, Thomas, Duke of Norfolk, hath been charged 
with high treason, hath pleaded not guilty, and 
hath submitted thyself to the judgment of thy 
peers ; this court adjudgeth thee to be carried 
back from hence to the Tower; then to be laid 
upon a hurdle, and drawn through the city to the 
gallows, there to be hanged ; and being half dead, 
to be cut down, thy bowels taken out, and after 


thy head is cut off, to be quartered ; thy head and 
body to be disposed of according to the queen's 
pleasure; and God have mercy upon thy soul." 
The duke listened to these frightful details with- 
out any visible emotion. " Sentence is passed 
upon me," he said, "as upon a traitor; I have 
none to trust but God and the queen. I am ex- 
cluded from your society, but hope shortly to enjoy 
the heavenly. I will fit myself to die. Only one 
thing I crave, that the queen would be kind to 
my poor children and servants, and take care that 
my debts be paid." The duke was beheaded on 
Tower Hill, on the 2d of June, 1572. He died 
pious and undaunted, on the same spot where his 
father, the accomplished Earl of Surrey, had been 
decapitated twenty-six years before. 

A more interesting person even than the Duke 
of Norfolk, was Robert Devereux, Earl of Essex, 
the ill-fated favourite of Queen Elizabeth, who was 
tried in Westminster Hall, with his friend, Henry 
Wriothesley, Earl of Southampton, on the igth of 
February, 1601. Camden was also present on this 
occasion, and has left us an interesting account of 
the proceedings. The peers having unanimously 
pronounced a verdict of guilty, the clerk of the 
Crown inquired of the prisoners, as usual, if they 
had anything to offer why judgment should not be 
passed upon them. Southampton addressed them 
in a modest, pathetic, and effective appeal, while 
Essex contented himself with generously pleading 


the cause of his friend. As for his own life, he 
said, he valued it not ; his only desire was to lay 
down his life with the sincere conscience of a good 
Christian, and a loyal subject ; and though he was 
unwilling that he should be represented to the 
queen as a person who despised her clemency, 
yet he trusted he should make no cringing sub- 
missions for his life. "And you, my lords," he 
concluded, "though you have condemned me in 
this tribunal, yet I most heartily entreat you that 
you will acquit me in your opinion of having en- 
tertained any ill intentions against my prince." 

The edge of the axe being now turned toward 
the prisoners, the high steward passed on them the 
dreadful sentence of the law. At its conclusion 
Essex exclaimed : " If her Majesty had pleased, 
this body of mine might have done her better 
service ; however, I shall be glad if it may prove 
serviceable to her in any way." He then requested 
that a clergyman whom he named, Mr. Ashton, 
should be allowed to administer the holy sacra- 
ment to him, and attend him in his last moments ; 
and, lastly, he begged pardon of the Earl of 
Worcester and the lord chief justice, for having 
detained them prisoners in Drury House ; and 
especially of the Lords Morley and Delawarr for 
having brought their sons into danger. The lord 
steward then broke his wand and the court broke 
up. " I was myself present at these preceedings," 
says Camden, "and have related them with all 


fairness and impartiality." Southampton escaped 
with his life, and shortly afterward, on the acces- 
sion of James the First, obtained the Order of the 
Garter and other honours. Essex was less for- 
tunate. He was beheaded in the courtyard of 
the Tower six days after his condemnation ; dis- 
playing on the scaffold the same unaffected courage 
and calm dignity which he had exhibited at his 
trial in Westminster Hall. 

James the First and his consort, Anne of Den- 
mark, were crowned in Westminster Abbey, and 
afterward sat at their coronation banquet in the 
hall, though the festivities were greatly curtailed 
in consequence of the plague which was raging in 
the metropolis. Two years afterward the old hall 
witnessed a very different scene, the trial of the 
handsome Sir Edward Digby, Guy Fawkes, and 
the other conspirators engaged in the memorable 
Gunplowder Plot, who were conveyed by water 
from the Tower to be tried by a special commission 
in Westminster Hall. 

A scarcely less remarkable trial was that of the 
celebrated favourite, Robert Carr, Earl of Somerset, 
and his countess, who were arraigned before the 
bar of the House of Lords in Westminster Hall 
on the 24th and 2$th of May, 1616, for the murder 
of Sir Thomas Overbury. 

The countess was the first who was brought to 
trial, presenting the extraordinary spectacle of a 
young and beautiful woman being tried by her 


peers for a foul and unnatural murder. The lord 
chancellor, who acted as lord high steward, rode 
into Westminster Hall on horseback. When the 
prisoner was brought to the bar, doubtless in con- 
sideration of her sex, the ceremony of carrying the 
axe before her was omitted. She stood pale and 
trembling, and during the reading of the indict- 
ment kept her face covered with her fan. She 
pleaded guilty of the crime ; but beseeched the 
peers to intercede for her with the king, with so 
many tears and with such evident anguish of mind, 
that the bystanders, forgetting the horror of her 
crime in the touching sight of beauty in distress, 
were unable to withhold from her their commis- 

The following day the earl was brought with 
all due solemnity before the same tribunal in 
Westminster Hall. He is described as being 
dressed on the occasion in "a plain black satin 
suit, his hair curled, his face pale, his beard long, 
and his eyes sunk in his head." He was also deco- 
rated with the George and Garter. According to 
Weldon, two persons were placed behind him at 
his trial, whose instructions were to throw a cloak 
over his face, and carry him off, should he exhibit 
the slightest intention of implicating the king. He 
pleaded innocent ; but the peers bringing in a ver- 
dict of guilty, he was sentenced, with his countess, 
to be reconducted to the Tower, and from thence 
to be carried to the place of execution, where they 


were to be hanged like common criminals. They 
received at different times several reprieves ; till 
at last, in 1624, about four months previous to the 
death of James, they received a full pardon for 
their crime. In the reign of Charles the First, 
Somerset petitioned, though unsuccessfully, for 
the restoration of his estates. The guilty pair, 
during the remainder of their lives, resided to- 
gether in a private and almost obscure condition. 
Their former passionate love was converted into 
abhorrence, and though inmates of the same house, 
they lived entirely separated and estranged. Such 
was the end of these two persons, both of them 
gifted with extraordinary beauty of person and of 
exalted rank ; whose marriage had been solemnised 
a few years before in the palace of Whitehall, with 
greater splendour than had ever been witnessed in 
England at the espousals of a subject ; and which 
even the citizens of London, in order to please 
their sovereign, had celebrated with all kinds of 
masks, dancing, and rejoicings. 

Charles the First was crowned in Westminster 
Abbey on the 2d of February, 1626, and after- 
ward dined in the hall, accompanied by the usual 
ceremonies. We are told that he was habited in 
a robe of white satin, which was probably intended 
to denote the purity of his intentions ; but his 
predecessors having invariably been robed in pur- 
ple at their coronations, it was inferred, we are 
told, by the superstitious that hereafter he would 


have to rely rather upon his own virtues and integ- 
rity, than upon the greatness of regal power. 
More than one other incident occurred at the 
time, which was regarded as extremely ominous to 
the young king, and which, considering the mis- 
fortunes of his subsequent career, were certainly 
singular coincidences. That which was thought 
particularly to forbode ill, was the golden dove 
falling from the sceptre during the coronation 
ceremony ; while the text selected by Sen house, 
Bishop of Carlisle, for the sermon (Rev. ii. 10, 
" Be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee 
a crown of life," etc.), was considered far more 
suitable for a funeral sermon than adapted to the 
gorgeous ceremonial of a coronation. 

On the 22d of March, 1641, Westminster Hall 
witnessed the trial of the stately and high-minded 
Thomas Wentworth, Earl of Strafford. It was a 
scene which, for grandeur and solemnity, has never 
been surpassed ; presenting the extraordinary spec- 
tacle of a great and free people bringing an unpop- 
ular minister to the bar of justice, in spite of their 
sovereign, whose arm was powerless to save his 
minister and his friend. From the account of 
Rushworth, who was employed to take notes of 
the evidence, and from others who were present, 
we are able to form a tolerable conception of the 
memorable scene. 

At the upper end of the hall was placed a throne 
for the king, and by the side of it a chair for the 


Prince of Wales, afterward Charles the Second, 
then in his eleventh year. The throne was vacant, 
but the young prince, dressed in his robes, occupied 
the place appointed for him. On each side of the 
throne were erected temporary closets, covered with 
tapestry, in one of which sat some French noble- 
men who were then in England, and in the other 
the king and queen, and several ladies of the 
court. In front of this box was a curtain, which 
had been placed there for the purpose of screening 
the royal party from observation, but Charles no 
sooner entered the box than he tore it down with 
his own hands. The queen and her ladies, we are 
told, were observed constantly taking notes during 
the trial. 

Beneath the throne, on seats covered with green 
cloth, sat the peers in their parliamentary robes, 
and near them the judges, on " sacks of wool," in 
their scarlet gowns. Lower down were ten ranges 
of seats for the members of the House of Com- 
mons. A bar covered with green cloth ran across 
the centre of the hall, and behind were placed a 
table and desk for the convenience of the prisoner, 
and a chair which he could make use of if he felt 
fatigued. Close to him stood Sir William Balfour, 
the lieutenant of the Tower. Strafford employed 
four secretaries, who sat on a desk behind him, 
and on one side of them were the witnesses for 
the prosecution. Galleries were erected on each 
side of the hall, which were filled with the rank 


and beauty of the land, and here also sat apart 
such members of the House of Commons as were 
not actually concerned in the impeachment. 

The trial of Straff ord lasted from the 22d of 
March to the i/th of April, nearly a month of 
miserable suspense; less, however, to the even- 
minded Strafford than to the unfortunate Charles, 
who, says Whitelocke, " did passionately desire of 
them not to proceed severely against the earl," and 
who was himself so shortly to stand a prisoner at 
the same bar of justice, at which the noble Straf- 
ford now stood. On each day of the trial, the earl 
was brought by water from the Tower, six barges 
attending him, guarded by a hundred soldiers. 
On his landing at Westminster stairs he was re- 
ceived by a hundred of the train bands, who con- 
ducted him into the hall, and afterward stood 
guards at the doors. Strafford and the peers 
usually arrived about eight o'clock in the morn- 
ing ; the king generally preceding them by about 
half an hour. Principal Baillie, who was present, 
speaks of the scene as " daily the most glorious 
assembly the isle could afford ; " and he has also 
supplied us with some interesting particulars relat- 
ing to Straff ord's carriage. " All being set," he 
writes, " the prince in his robes in a little chair on 
the side of the throne, the chamberlain and black 
rod went out and brought in my Lord Strafford. 
He was always in the same suit of black. At the 
entry he made a low curtsey ; proceeding a little, 


he gave a second ; when he came to his desk, a 
third ; then at the bar, the fore-face of his desk, 
he kneeled ; rising quickly, he saluted both sides 
of the house, and then sat down. Some few of 
the lords lifted their hats to him : this was his 
daily carriage." 

The iniquitous proceedings, under the false pre- 
tence of being guided by law and justice, by which 
Strafford was brought to the block, are too well 
known to require repetition. He was already a 
prejudged and precondemned man, and his pa- 
thetic and brilliant eloquence filled the old hall in 
vain. On the last day of his trial he was attended 
by his young children, who were allowed to stand 
by his side at the bar. Regarding them with looks 
of deep affection, and pointing toward them, he 
thus concluded his beautiful appeal to the vast 
audience : " My lords, I have now troubled your 
lordships a great deal longer than I should have 
done were it not for the interest of these pledges 
which a saint in heaven has left me." Here his 
feelings overcame him, and compelled him to pause 
for a few seconds. " I should be loath, my lords, 
what I forfeit for myself is nothing ; but I con- 
fess that my indiscretion should forfeit for them, 
it wounds me very deeply. You will be pleased 
to pardon my infirmity ; something I should have 
said, but I see I shall not be able, and therefore 
I will leave it. And now, my lords, for myself I 
thank God I have been, by his good blessing toward 


me, taught that the afflictions of the present life 
are not to be compared with that eternal weight 
of glory that shall be revealed to us hereafter. 
And, my lords, even so with all humility and all 
tranquillity of mind, I do submit myself clearly 
and freely to your judgments, and whether that 
righteous judgment shall be to life or to death, 

" ' Te Deum laudamus, Te Deum confitemur.' " 

Even the enemies of Strafford beheld his digni- 
fied demeanour and listened to his lofty eloquence 
with admiration, and Sir William Pennyman, after 
giving his evidence against him, burst into tears. 
But the strongest testimony of the sensation which 
he created is that of Whitelocke, who was chair- 
man of the committee of the House which drew up 
the impeachment, and who was little likely to be 
prejudiced in his favour. "Never," he says, "did 
any man ever act such a part, on such a theatre, 
with more wisdom, constancy, judgment, and tem- 
per, and with a better grace in all his words and 
actions than did this great and excellent person ; 
and he moved the hearts of all his auditors, some 
few excepted, to remorse and pity." On the I2th 
of May following Strafford was beheaded on Tower 
Hill, displaying on the scaffold the same grace and 
dignity, the same humble submission to the will of 
Heaven, and the same proud superiority over the 
machinations of his enemies, which, amidst the as- 
sembled thousands in Westminster Hall, had drawn 


the tear from the eye of beauty, and had thrilled 
the heart even of the most acrimonious republican. 
It must have been an extraordinary scene to 
those who witnessed it, when, on the Qth of Jan- 
uary, 1649, a sergeant-at-arms rode into the middle 
of Westminster Hall, and, after a loud flourish of 
drums and trumpets, proclaimed to the astonished 
crowd that the Commons of England had deter- 
mined on bringing King Charles the First to a 
solemn trial. But twelve days afterward West- 
minster Hall presented a far more extraordinary 
scene, when the world beheld the amazing specta- 
cle of a great nation sitting in judgment on its 
sovereign. Apart from the reflections to which 
such a sight must have given birth ; apart from 
the astounding incident of the descendant of a long 
line of kings being arraigned as a criminal in the 
banqueting-hall in which his forefathers had feasted 
amidst all the pomp of power ; apart, we say, from 
all these considerations, the scene must have been 
imposing and magnificent in the extreme. At the 
upper end of the hall, on benches raised one above 
the other, and covered with scarlet, sat the king's 
judges, about seventy in number. In the centre 
of them was a raised platform, on which was placed 
a chair of state for the president, Bradshaw, covered 
with crimson velvet, as was a desk placed before 
him for his use. Immediately in front of Brad- 
shaw, though with a considerable space intervening 
between them, was placed a chair, covered also 


with velvet, for the king; the space between 
Charles and Bradshaw being filled with a large 
table, covered with a rich Turkey carpet, on which 
the mace and sword of justice were laid, and at 
which the two clerks of the court were seated. 
On either side of the hall galleries had been erected 
for the convenience of the spectators ; and behind 
and on the right and left hand of the king were 
arranged the soldiers and officers of the court, 
Cooke, the solicitor for the self-styled people of 
England, standing on the king's right hand. A 
strong bar ran across the centre of the hall, be- 
hind which were crowded the populace in a dense 
mass ; and for the protection of the judges, the 
leads and windows of the hall were filled with 

At the entrance of the king into the hall, he 
was received from the custody of Colonel Hacker 
by the sergeant-at-arms, who conducted his Maj- 
esty to his seat at the bar. After glancing sternly 
at the judges, and on the galleries on each side of 
him, he seated himself without either taking off 
his hat, or showing the least respect for the court. 
Some minutes afterward he rose from his chair, 
and, turning around, fixed his eyes steadily on the 
guards and the dense mass of people behind him. 
While the indictment was being read he sat un- 
moved, and preserved his usual calm and melan- 
choly expression of countenance, except when some 
more absurd or daring allegation was laid to his 


charge, when he was occasionally observed to 

During the proceedings, a well-known incident 
occurred, which created a considerable sensation in 
the hall. The name of Fairfax, the lord-general, 
being called over, and no answer being returned, 
a female voice exclaimed from one of the galleries, 
"He has more wit than to be here." Again, in 
the course of reading the charge, when the pro- 
ceedings were stated to be on behalf of the people 
of England, the same mysterious voice called out, 
with increased energy, "No, not the hundredth 
part of them! It is false, where are they? 
Oliver Cromwell is a traitor ! " The utmost con- 
fusion was the consequence, and Colonel Axtell 
even desired the soldiers to fire into the gallery 
from whence the voice proceeded. It was soon 
discovered that the offender was the Lady Fair- 
fax, the wife of the general, who was instantly 
compelled to retire. 

The behaviour of the president, Bradshaw, intox- 
icated with his extraordinary elevation from being 
an insignificant lawyer to be the judge of his sov- 
ereign, was inconceivably brutal. At the close 
of the day's proceedings, the vulgar insolence of 
manner with which he ordered the guards to re- 
move their prisoner ruffled even the calm temper 
of Charles. Pointing with his cane to the mace 
which was lying on the table, " Sir," he said, "I do- 
not fear that." 


The following morning the king was conducted 
from Whitehall to Westminster by water. On 
being brought into the hall, his countenance 
changed colour, and he seems to have been much 
affected by the soldiers receiving him with loud 
cries for "justice;" he attributed it afterward, 
however, and perhaps with reason, to their being 
instigated by their officers. " Poor souls," he said, 
"for a little money, they would do as much against 
their commanders." It was on this day (accord- 
ing to the evidence given by Sir Purbeck Temple, 
at the trial of Colonel Axtell) that the soldiers 
" did fire powder in the palms of their hands, that 
did not only offend his Majesty's smell, but en- 
forced him to rise up out of his chair, and with his 
hand to turn away the smoke ; and after this he 
turned about to the people and smiled upon them, 
and those soldiers that so rudely treated him." 

As he was quitting the hall, one of the common 
soldiers, of a kinder nature than his fellows, as the 
king passed by, exclaimed, " God bless you, sir ! " 
Charles was gratified, and thanked him, but the 
man's officer, overhearing the benediction, struck 
him severely on the head with his cane. "Me- 
thinks," said the king, "the punishment exceed- 
eth the offence." One person was actually brutal 
enough to spit at the meek monarch. Charles 
quietly wiped his face. "My Saviour," he re- 
marked, "suffered more than this for me." 

On the third day of the trial nothing remarkable 


happened, except the rather singular coincidence 
of the gold head of the king's walking-cane fall- 
ing off, which Charles himself, who was singularly 
superstitious even for the age he lived in, regarded 
as an ill omen. 

On the fourth day, the last and most memorable 
of the trial, Bradshaw entered Westminster Hall 
in his scarlet gown, a signal to the ki*\g that his 
doom was fixed, and that, before another sun had 
set, his doom would be pronounced. Silence hav- 
ing been commanded, Bradshaw commenced a 
vulgar and tedious tirade, in which the king was 
accused of being the author of " all the late unnat- 
ural, cruel, and bloody wars ; of all the murders, 
rapines, burnings, spoils, desolations, damages, and 
mischief occasioned by and committed during the 
said wars ; " for which " treasons and crimes," this 
court, said the president, "doth adjudge that he, 
the said Charles Stuart, as a tyrant, traitor, mur- 
derer, and public enemy, shall be put to death by 
severing his head from his body." Charles listened 
calmly to the reading of the sentence, and, at its 
conclusion, lifted up his eyes as if pleading for 
that mercy in heaven which he was denied by his 
persecutors on earth. 

The last, the only .favour asked by Charles, 
was permission to address a few words to his 
judges. But even this, with inconceivable brutal- 
ity and bad taste, was refused, and the following 
remarkable dialogue took place : 


Bradshaw. Sir, you are not to be heard after the sen- 

Charles. No, sir ? 

Bradshaw. No, sir, by your favour. Guards, withdraw 
your prisoner. 

Charles. I may speak after the sentence, by your fa- 
vour, sir, I may speak after the sentence, ever. By your 

Bradshaw. Hold ! 

Charles. The sentence, sir ; I say, sir, I do 

Bradshaw. Hold ! 

Charles. I am not suffered to speak ! expect what jus- 
tice the people will have. 

Before he could say more, the king was hurried 
off by the guards. As he passed for the last time 
through that famous hall, the banqueting-room of 
the kings his ancestors, he was insulted in the 
grossest manner by the poor hirelings whom he 
passed ; the soldiers smoking their tobacco in his 
face, and throwing their pipes before him in his 
path ; besides heaping on him the lowest and most 
virulent abuse. 

On the 26th of June, 1657, Westminster Hall 
witnessed the extraordinary scene of the installa- 
tion of Oliver Cromwell as Lord Protector of the 
Commonwealth of Great Britain and Ireland, on 
the same spot on which, a few years before, he 
had sat in judgment on his unfortunate sovereign. 
The ceremony was conducted with as much splen- 
dour as if it had been the coronation of one of 
the ancient kings. On a raised platform, under a 


splendid canopy, sat the subverter of monarchy, on 
the same throne on which the Tudors and Plan- 
tagenets had taken their coronation oaths, and 
which had been brought from the abbey for the 
purpose. When Cromwell had previously been 
sworn into the office of Lord Protector, in 1653, 
we find him simply dressed in a suit and cloak of 
black velvet, long boots, and the only extraneous 
ornament a broad band of gold around his hat. 
But the usurper had been amusing himself with 
the trappings, and aping the airs, of royalty, and 
we now find him clad in robes of purple velvet 
lined with ermine, and even holding the sceptre 
in his hand. Before him was set a table covered 
with pink-coloured Genoa velvet fringed with 
gold, on which were placed the Bible, the sword, 
and the sceptre of the Commonwealth. On each 
side of the hall were erected temporary galleries, 
in which sat the Protector's family, the spectators, 
and the House of Commons ; Sir Thomas Widdring- 
ton, the Speaker, being the only person honoured 
with a seat near the Protector. As soon as the 
oath was taken, the heralds, after a flourish of 
trumpets, proclaimed him, with all the usual for- 
malities, Lord Protector of England, Scotland, and 
Ireland. Exactly three years afterward, the head 
of Cromwell, a ghastly object, was affixed to a 
pole on the roof of that very apartment, in which 
he now sat in all the pomp and pride of usurped 
power. By the side of that of Cromwell, were 


also affixed on poles the heads of Ireton and 

In the time of Cromwell, and up to a later 
period, it is curious to find Westminster Hall used 
as a fashionable lounging-place, where the gay and 
idle assembled to discuss the news and gossip of 
the day. Here, too, books, and apparently all kinds 
of articles, were exposed for sale. Pepys especially 
mentions, in 1660, buying, "among other books, 
one of the life of our queen, which I read at home 
to my wife, but it was so sillily writ that we did 
nothing but laugh at it." As late as the middle 
of the last century, Westminster Hall, except 
when required for state purposes, appears to have 
presented the appearance rather of a bazaar than 
a banqueting-hall. On each side of it were ar- 
ranged bookshelves and stalls, on which books, 
mathematical instruments, prints, and even arti- 
cles of ladies' dress, were exposed for sale. 

On the 8th of May, 1660, to the great disgust 
and abhorrence of the old Puritan and republican 
party, Charles the Second was proclaimed by the 
heralds King of Great Britain and Ireland in front 
of Westminster Hall ; the members of the House 
of Commons standing by, bareheaded. On the 
23d of April, the following year, Charles was sol- 
emnly crowned in the abbey, and the same day 
the " merry monarch " kept his coronation feast 
with great magnificence in the old hall, where 
twenty-one years before he had listened, a mere 


child, to the dying eloquence of the ill-fated Straf- 
ford. Since that time how many revolutions of for- 
tune had the old hall witnessed ! Since then, his 
own unfortunate father, the princely Hamilton, the 
gay and graceful Holland, and the virtuous and 
high-minded Lord Capel, surrounded by guards 
and preceded by the fatal axe, had severally passed 
under its massive portal, never to cross its thresh- 
old again. Since then, the mighty Cromwell had 
sat there arrayed in purple and ermine, and now he 
was beneath the gibbet at Tyburn. The empire, 
too, of the second Cromwell had passed away, and 
he who, a few months before, had received a 
greater number of fulsome addresses from the 
people of England than had ever congratulated 
the accession of a legitimate sovereign was now a 
proscribed fugitive in a foreign land. And these 
were men, many of them, of rare virtues, or of 
exalted talent ; while Charles, without any merit 
of his own, was now quietly seated at the gay and 
gorgeous banquet, bandying wit and repartee with 
the frolic Buckingham, or exchanging looks of 
love and gallantry with the bright eyes which 
glanced down on the young monarch from the 
silken galleries above. 

James the Second was crowned in Westminster 
Abbey, with his consort, the young and lovely 
Mary of Modena, on the 23d of April, 1685, and 
afterward partook of a "most sumptuous and 
magnificent " banquet in the hall. At the coro- 


nation of the misguided monarch more than one 
incident occurred, which his subjects regarded 
as ominous of future ill, and they certainly were 
remarkable coincidences. At the moment when 
the Tower guns announced that the king was 
crowned, the royal standard was blown from the 
White Tower ; the canopy over the king's head 
was observed to be unaccountably rent ; and in 
one of the London churches, a window, in which 
the royal arms were beautifully painted, fell down 
without any apparent cause. But that which was 
considered in the last degree ominous, was the cir- 
cumstance of the crown tottering on the king's 
head. It seems it would have dropped to the 
ground, had not Henry Sidney, the brother of 
the lamented and high-minded Algernon Sidney, 
stepped forward and prevented its falling. " It 
was not the first occasion," he said, "that his 
family had supported the Crown." 

During the short and dark reign of James the 
Second, the only incident of great interest asso- 
ciated with Westminster Hall is the memorable 
trial of the seven bishops, with the Archbishop 
of Canterbury at their head, the most important, 
perhaps, that ever took place under its venerable 
roof. On the day of their trial, the 2Qth of June, 
1688, the bishops were conducted from the Tower 
to Westminster by water ; the banks of the river, 
on both sides, being crowded with an immense 
mass of anxious spectators, who followed the barge 


with their eyes, and audibly offered up their prayers 
for the persecuted fathers of the Church. On being 
arraigned at the bar in Westminster Hall, the ven- 
erable appearance of the aged prelates, the posi- 
tion in which they stood as the meek but undaunted 
champions of the civil and religious liberties of 
their fellow countrymen, as well as the crowded 
thousands who filled the hall, presented one of the 
most imposing scenes of which we can form any 
notion. After sitting up all night, the jury made 
their reappearance in the hall before the anxious 
and excited audience. The wished-for verdict of 
" Not Guilty " was returned, when the roof of the 
old hall rang with such a universal shout of joy 
as had not often been heard within its walls ; the 
same shout was echoed through the cities of West- 
minster and London, and in a short time was echoed 
backed by the army on Hounslow Heath, where 
the king was dining with the general, Lord Faver- 
sham, in his tent. Being informed of the cause 
of the uproar, the bigoted monarch appears to have 
been startled for the moment ; but while every 
one but himself was watching the brooding of the 
storm, which was so soon to burst over his head, 
he alone remained obstinate, blind, and perverse. 

William the Third and his consort, Queen Mary, 
were crowned in Westminster Abbey, on the nth 
of April, 1689, and afterward banqueted in the 
hall with the usual pomp and ceremony, Dymoke, 
the champion, making the customary challenge. 


"It was as usual," says Reresby, u a splendid 
sight ; the procession to the abbey was quite 
regular, though not so complete in the number 
of nobility as at the last two solemnities of the 
same kind. Particular care was had of the House 
of Commons, who had a place prepared for them 
to sit in, both in the church and in the hall. They 
had tables spread for them, to which I, among 
other friends, had the honour of being admitted, 
so that I had a very fair opportunity of seeing 
all that passed." 

It was in this reign that Peter the Great of 
Russia paid a visit to England, and, among other 
places, was conducted by the Marquis of Carmar- 
then, who was appointed to attend him during his 
visit, into Westminster Hall. To a despotic mon- 
arch, what a host of startling reflections was that 
hall capable of exciting! But we mention the 
visit of the Czar rather for the purpose of record- 
ing an amusing incident. It happened to be term 
time, and the vast area was, as usual at such sea- 
sons, crowded with lawyers in their wigs and 
gowns. Peter appeared to be struck with the sight, 
and inquired who these persons could possibly 
be ? Being informed by Lord Carmarthen that 
they were all persons of the legal profession, he 
appeared quite confounded. " Lawyers ! " he ex- 
claimed, " why, I have only two in all my domin- 
ions, and I believe I shall hang one of them the 
moment I get back." 


On the 23d of April, 1702, Queen Anne was 
crowned in Westminster Abbey. The banquet in 
the hall was solemnised with the customary splen- 
dour and rejoicings, her consort, Prince George 
of Denmark, sitting on her right hand under the 
same canopy. Two years afterward, Westminster 
Hall presented the cheering spectacle of being 
hung with the trophies won by the great Marl- 
borough at Blenheim, that memorable battle in 
which, out of an army consisting of sixty thousand 
men, the French and Bavarians lost, in killed and 
wounded, forty thousand, including fifteen hundred 
officers and the greater number of their generals. 
The trophies, suspended in Westminster Hall, 
consisted of no less than one hundred and twenty- 
one standards and one hundred and seventy-nine 
colours. Since the days when Hannibal sent three 
bushels of gold rings to Carthage, stripped from 
the dead bodies of the Roman knights on the field 
of Cannae, never, perhaps, had so many trophies 
adorned the triumph of a general. 

We have recently made a passing reference to 
the singular and checkered fortunes of the second 
Protector, Richard Cromwell. In the reign of 
Queen Anne, when he had arrived at a very ad- 
vanced age, a lawsuit, in which his daughters had 
unfortunately engaged him, compelled him to visit 
London for the purpose of giving evidence at the 
Court of King's Bench, Westminster. While his 
cause was pending, curiosity induced him to wan- 


der into the hall, which, half a century before, had 
been the scene of his father's and his own splen- 
dour. His reflections may be more readily imag- 
ined than described. Wandering on, he entered 
the House of Lords, fraught with no less strange 
and painful associations. The peers happened to 
be sitting at the time, when a stranger, mistaking 
him for a mere country gentleman who had been 
attracted there by curiosity, inquired of him if he 
had ever before beheld such a scene. " Never," 
replied the old man, pointing to the throne, " since 
I sat in that chair ! " When Richard Cromwell 
appeared in court, his venerable appearance, and 
the exalted position which he had once filled, ap- 
pear to have excited an extraordinary sensation. 
The judge ordered him to be conducted into a pri- 
vate apartment where refreshments were in readi- 
ness ; he directed a chair to be brought into court 
for his convenience, and insisted that, on account 
of his age, he should remain covered. When the 
counsel on the opposite side objected, for some 
reason, to the indulgence of the chair, the judge 
said, " I will allow of no reflections to be made, but 
that you go to the merits of the cause." It was 
to the credit of Queen Anne, that she appreciated 
and had the good taste to express her approbation 
of the conduct of the presiding judge. 

The only other incident of any interest connected 
with Westminster Hall in the reign of Queen Anne 
was the trial of the celebrated Doctor Sacheverel, 


which took place here before the peers on the 
27th of February, 1710. The sentence passed on 
him, that he was not to preach for three years, 
was regarded by the people as a triumph, and was 
hailed by them with acclamations almost as loud 
as those which had attended the acquittal of the 
seven bishops. 

The first of our German sovereigns, George the 
First, was crowned and feasted at Westminster, 
the usual ceremonies being performed, if with less 
ftopular enthusiasm, at least with as much magnifi- 
cence as had attended the coronation ceremonials 
of the Plantagenets or the Stuarts. The people of 
England had not forgotten their ancient kings ; 
they remembered that the legitimate heir to the 
throne was an exile in a foreign land ; half Eng- 
land was ready to embrace a cause which was at 
once the rightful and the romantic one ; while the 
devoted and enthusiastic Highlanders were ready, 
at a moment's notice, to draw the claymore in 
favour of the descendant of Robert Bruce. 

Against this tide of national loyalty and enthu- 
siasm, the German elector could oppose neither 
legitimate claims nor talents for government, not 
even fascination of manner nor personal accom- 
plishments. He was alike ungraceful in his person 
and inelegant in his address ; alike ignorant in 
literature, ignorant of the customs and manners 
of the people over whom he came to rule, ignorant 
even of their very language, in which he had never 


thought it worth his trouble to instruct himself. 
He was alike a bad husband, a bad man, and a 
bad king. He had inherited from his great-grand- 
father, James the First, all the worst qualities of 
the Stuarts, without their accomplishments. He 
could boast neither the scholarship of James the 
First, nor the dignified manners, the high-bred 
melancholy look, and domestic virtues of Charles 
the First. He was as much a libertine as Charles 
the Second without the excuse of youth and pas- 
sion ; he kept almost as many mistresses as that 
monarch, without their charms of youth and 
beauty ; and he was as debauched as Charles, 
without the charm of his affability, or the fascina- 
tion of his wit. When Charles the Second, on the 
night of his Restoration, slipped down the back 
stairs at Whitehall, and crossed the water to pass 
the night with Lady Castlemaine, he had only 
that day completed his thirtieth year, while, when 
George the First made his appearance in the British 
metropolis with his hideous seraglio of German 
prostitutes, he had attained the mature age of 

Such was the man who was invited over from a 
petty German electorate to fill the throne of the 
Tudors and the Plantagenets, and whose misrule 
and questionable rights led to the famous insur- 
rection of 1715, and conducted as criminals to 
the bar of justice, in Westminster Hall, those 
noble and chivalrous spirits whose enthusiastic 


loyalty deserved a better fate than exile or the 

On the loth of January, 1716, were arraigned 
at the bar of the House of Lords, in Westminster 
Hall, the Earls of Derwentwater, Nithsdale, and 
Carnwath, and the Lords Widdrington, Kenmure, 
and Nairn. The hall, as usual on such occasions, 
presented an imposing and magnificent scene. The 
area behind the bar was crowded with thousands 
of spectators ; the peers and judges sat in their 
robes ; the galleries were filled with the rank and 
beauty of the land ; the Commons of Great Brit- 
ain, with great solemnity, presented the articles 
of impeachment at the bar of the House of Lords ; 
and the prisoners were led into the hall with the 
usual formalities, surrounded by soldiers, and with 
the back of the axe turned toward them. 

The peers having returned a verdict of guilty, 
on the Qth of February these unfortunate noble- 
men were again brought to the bar in Westmin- 
ster Hall to receive their sentence. When asked 
by the lord high steward if they had anything to 
advance why judgment should not be pronounced 
against them, they severally threw themselves on 
the king's mercy, admitting their offence, and 
declaring that, if the royal clemency should be 
extended toward them, they would continue duti- 
ful and devoted subjects to the end of their lives. 
The appearance and demeanour at the bar of 
the young and gallant Derwentwater excited the 


warmest commiseration in the vast audience. " The 
terrors of your lordships' just sentence," he said, 
" which at once deprives me of my life and estate, 
and completes the misfortunes of my wife and 
innocent children, are so heavy upon my mind 
that I am scarcely able to allege what may exten- 
uate my offence, if anything can do it. I have 
confessed myself guilty ; but, my lords, that guilt 
was rashly incurred without any premeditation." 
Lord Nairn also pathetically pleaded the cause of 
his wife and twelve children. 

The lord steward, having answered at some 
length the arguments advanced by the unfortu- 
nate lords in extenuation of their offence, pro- 
ceeded to pass on them the awful sentence 
awarded for high treason. The Lords Derwent- 
water and Kenmure were beheaded on the same 
scaffold on Tower Hill on the 24th of February, 
1716; the Earl of Nithsdale, by means of his 
heroic countess, contrived to escape from the 
Tower in female attire; and the Earl of Carn- 
wath and Lords Widdrington and Nairn, after 
remaining in prison till 1717, were released by 
the Act of Grace, with the forfeiture of their 
titles and estates. 

The only other event of any interest connected 
with Westminster Hall, in the reign of George 
the First, was the arraignment of the celebrated 
statesman, Robert Harley, Earl of Oxford, for 
high crimes and misdemeanours, on the 24th of 


June, 1/17. The king, the royal family, and the 
foreign ambassadors were present ; and, with the 
usual ceremonials, the earl was conducted from 
the Tower, and led to the bar. It was the object, 
however, of the ministry to prevent, if possible, 
an investigation which was likely to reflect but 
little credit on their own conduct. By means, 
therefore, of Mr. Walpole, afterward Sir Robert, 
a feigned quarrel was got up between the two 
houses ; long discussions took place as to the 
mode of conducting the impeachment and trial; 
and, at the close of the day, it was declared to 
be unlikely in the extreme that they should ever 
come to a mutual understanding. Accordingly, 
on the ist of July, the Lords again took their seats 
in Westminster Hall ; the prisoner was called to 
the bar, and, no prosecutors appearing, the earl 
was unanimously acquitted, and, after an imprison- 
ment of upwards of two years, was restored to his 

George the Second was crowned in Westminster 
Abbey on the nth of October, 1727, and the ban- 
quet was afterward held in the hall with the usual 
splendour and formalities. But from the corona- 
tion festivities of this uninteresting monarch we 
turn with far more interest to the splendid and 
imposing scene presented by Westminster Hall, 
when those gallant and devoted followers of the 
fortunes of Charles Edward, the Earls of Cro- 
martie and Kilmarnock, and Lord Balmerino, were 


arraigned as criminals under its roof. At eight 
o'clock in the morning on the 28th of July, 1746, 
they were conducted from the Tower to Westmin- 
ster in three coaches, attended by a strong guard 
of foot-soldiers, and, as soon as the peers had 
assembled in Westminster Hall, proclamation was 
made for their appearance. They were then 
brought to the bar, preceded by the gentleman 
gaoler, who carried the axe with the blunt part 
toward them. The usual compliments having 
passed between the prisoners and the peers, the 
indictments were read with all the customary 

The trial scene of the insurgent lords is graphi- 
cally described by Horace Walpole in one of the 
most interesting of his charming letters. To Sir 
Horace Mann he writes, on the ist of August, 
1746: "I am this moment come from the conclu- 
sion of the greatest and most melancholy scene I 
ever yet saw ! You will easily guess it was the 
trials of the rebel lords. As it was the most 
interesting sight, so it was the most solemn and 
fine : a coronation is a puppet-show, and all the 
splendour of it idle ; but this sight at once feasted 
one's eyes, and engaged all one's passions. It began 
last Monday ; three parts of Westminster Hall 
were enclosed with galleries, and hung with scar- 
let ; and the whole ceremony was conducted with 
the most awful solemnity and decency, except in 
the one point of leaving the prisoners at the bar 


amidst the idle curiosity of some crowd, and even 
with the witnesses who had sworn against them, 
while the lords adjourned to their own house to 
consult. No part of the royal family was there, 
which was a proper regard to the unhappy men 
who were become their victims. One hundred and 
thirty-nine lords were present, and made a noble 
sight on their benches frequent and full ! The 
chancellor ' was lord high steward ; but, though a 
most comely personage with a fine voice, his be- 
haviour was mean, curiously searching for occasion 
to bow to the minister 2 that is no peer, and, con- 
sequently, applying to the other ministers, in a 
manner, for their orders, and not even ready at 
the ceremonial. To the prisoners he was peevish, 
and, instead of keeping up the humane dignity of 
the law of England, whose character is to point 
out favour to the criminal, he crossed them, and 
almost scolded at any offer they made toward 
defence. I had armed myself with all the resolu- 
tion I could, with the thought of their crimes 
and of the danger past, and was assisted by the 
sight of the Marquis of Lothian, 1 in weepers for his 
son who fell at Culloden ; but the first appearance 
of the prisoners shocked me ! their behaviour 
melted me!" 

"For Lord Balmerino," adds Walpole, "he is 

1 Lord Hardwicke. 2 Henry Pelham. 

3 William Kerr, third Marquis of Lothian, whose second son, 
Lord Robert Kerr, had been killed at the battle of Culloden. 


the most natural brave old fellow I ever saw ; the 
highest intrepidity, even to indifference. At the 
bar he behaved like a soldier and a man ; in 
the intervals of form with carelessness and hu- 
mour. He pressed extremely to have his wife, 
his pretty Peggy, with him in the Tower. Lady 
Cromartie only sees her husband through the 
grate, not choosing to be shut up with him, as 
she thinks she can serve him better by her inter- 
cession without ; she is big with child and very 
handsome, so are her daughters. When they were 
to be brought from the Tower in separate coaches, 
there was some dispute in which the axe must go. 
Old Balmerino cried, < Come, come, put it with 
me.' At the bar he plays with his fingers upon 
the axe while he talks to the gentleman gaoler ; 
and one day somebody coming up to listen, he 
took the blade and held it like a fan between their 
faces. During the trial a little boy was near him, 
but not tall enough to see ; he made room for the 
child, and placed him near himself. 

"When the trial began, the two earls pleaded 
guilty, Balmerino not guilty, saying he could prove 
his not being at the taking of the castle of Carlisle, 
as was laid in the indictment. Then the king's 
counsel opened, and Sergeant Skinner pronounced 
the most absurd speech imaginable, and mentioned 
the Duke of Perth, 'who,' said he, 'I see by the 
papers is dead.' Then some witnesses were exam- 
ined, whom afterward the old hero shook cordially 


by the hand. The lords withdrew to their house, 
and, returning, demanded of the judges whether 
one point not being proved, though all the rest 
were, the indictment was false to which they 
unanimously answered in the negative. Then the 
lord high steward asked the peers severally whether 
Lord Balmerino was guilty. All said, ( Guilty, 
upon honour,' and then adjourned, the prisoner 
having begged pardon for giving them so much 
trouble. While the lords were withdrawn, the 
Solicitor-General Murray (brother of the Pretend- 
er's minister) officiously and insolently went up 
to Lord Balmerino, and asked him how he could 
give the lords so much trouble, when his solicitor 
had informed him that his plea could be of no use 
to him. Balmerino asked the bystanders who this 
person was, and, being told, he said, * Oh, Mr. 
Murray ? I am extremely glad to see you ; I have 
been with several of your relations ; the good lady, 
your mother, was of great use to us at Perth.' 
Are you not charmed with this speech ? How 
just it was! As he went away, he said, 'They 
call me Jacobite ; I am no more a Jacobite than 
any that tried me, but if the Great Mogul had set 
up his standard, I should have followed it, for I 
could not starve.' 

" When the peers were going to vote," proceeds 
Walpole, " Lord Foley withdrew as too well a 
wisher ; Lord Moray, as nephew of Lord Balmer- 
ino ; and Lord Stair, as, I believe, uncle to his 


great-grandfather. Lord Windsor very affectedly 
said, 'I am sorry I must say, guilty, upon my 
honour.' Lord Stamford would not answer to the 
name of Henry, having been christened Harry, 
what a great way of thinking on such an occasion ! 
I was diverted, too, with old Norsa, the father of 
my brother's concubine, an old Jew that kept a 
tavern. My brother, as auditor of the exchequer, 
has a gallery along one whole side of the court. 
I said, < I really feel for the prisoners ! ' Old 
Issachar replied, ' Feel for them ! pray, if they 
had succeeded, what would have become of all 
us ? ' When my Lady Townshend heard her hus- 
band vote, she said, < I always knew my lord was 
guilty, but I never thought he would own it upon 
his honour.' Lord Balmerino said that one of his 
reasons for pleading not guilty was, that so many 
ladies might not be disappointed of their show." 

Having been found guilty by the unanimous 
verdict of their peers, the prisoners were recalled 
to the bar, and having been informed by the lord 
steward that on the day following the next sen- 
tence would be passed upon them, they were 
reconducted to the Tower, with the edge of the 
axe turned toward them. Accordingly, on the 
3Oth of July, they were again brought to the bar 
of Westminster Hall to receive judgment, but, in 
consequence of a technical objection raised by Lord 
Balmerino, the court was once more adjourned to 
the ist of August, in order to enable him to obtain 


the assistance of counsel. On that day the peers 
again assembled in Westminster Hall, when the 
prisoners were called upon, with the usual formali- 
ties, to state if they had any objection to raise why 
sentence of death should not be passed upon them. 
They all answered in the negative, Lord Balmerino 
adding, that his counsel had satisfied him that there 
was nothing in the objection which he had raised 
which could do him service, and that he there- 
fore regretted that he had occasioned so much 
trouble to their lordships. The lord steward 
then addressed them in a pathetic speech, and 
concluded by passing, on them the dreadful sen- 
tence which the law awards for the crime of high 
treason. The prisoners were then removed ; the 
lord steward broke his staff, and declared the 
commission to be dissolved. 

Eight months afterward, the same imposing 
spectacle was exhibited in Westminster Hall, at 
the trial of the celebrated Lord Lovat, who now 
stood a prisoner before his peers, after a long life 
of craft and profligacy, at the almost patriarchal 
age of eighty. Horace Walpole writes to Sir Hor- 
ace Mann, on the 2Oth of March, 1747 : "I have 
been living at old Lovat's trial, and was willing to 
have it over before I talked to you of it. It lasted 
seven days. The evidence was as strong as pos- 
sible, and after all he had denounced, he made no 
defence. The solicitor-general, 1 who was one of 

1 William Murray, afterward the celebrated Lord Mansfield. 


the managers for the House of Commons, shone 
extremely ; the attorney-general, 1 who is a much 
greater lawyer, is cold and tedious. The old 
creature's behaviour has been foolish, and at last 
indecent. I see little of parts in him, nor attrib- 
bute much to that cunning for which he is so 
famous ; it might catch wild Highlanders, but the 
art of dissimulation and flattery is so refined and 
improved that it is of little use now where it is 
not very delicate. When Sir Everard Falkner," 
adds Walpole, " had been examined against Lovat, 
the lord high steward asked the latter if he had 
anything to say to Sir Everard. He replied, ' No, 
but that he was his humble servant, and wished 
him joy of his young wife.' The last two days he 
behaved ridiculously, joking, and making every- 
body laugh even at the sentence. He said to 
Lord Ilchester, who sat near the bar, 'Je meurs 
pour ma patrie et ne m' en soucie gueres' When 
he withdrew, he said, ' Adieu, my lords, we shall 
never meet again in the same place.' He says he 
will be hanged, for that his neck is so short and 
bended that he should be struck in the shoulders. 
I did not think it possible to feel so little as I did 
at so melancholy a spectacle, but tyranny and vil- 
lainy, wound up by buffoonery, took off all edge 
of concern. The foreigners were much struck." 
This extraordinary man, notwithstanding his buf- 
foonery at his trial, his vices, and the exceeding 

1 Sir Dudley Ryder, afterward lord chief justice. 


infamy of his career, died with a dignity which 
would have done credit to an ancient Roman. 
Walpole writes on the loth of April, "Old Lovat 
was beheaded yesterday, and died extremely well, 
without passion, affectation, buffoonery, or timid- 
ity ; his behaviour was natural and intrepid." He 
jested with the executioner on the subject of his 
melancholy occupation, and died with the beauti- 
ful line of Horace on his lips, " Duke et decorum 
est pro patrid mori." 

George the Third, with his consort, Charlotte 
of Mecklenberg-Strelitz, was crowned at West- 
minster on the 22d of September, 1761 ; and 
afterward sat at his coronation banquet in the 
hall with his young bride, attended by all the 
formalities and ceremonials which had been digni- 
fied by the custom of past ages. And looking 
down from one of the galleries sat one who, in a 
disguised habit, and with his face half-concealed, 
was no unconcerned spectator of that gorgeous 
scene. This person was he who, in his youth, 
had been the idol of the rude and devoted High- 
landers who fought their way to Derby with their 
claymores in 1745 ; the young hero of Preston 
Pans and Falkirk, the descendant of a hundred 
kings ; he who, by the right of legitimate descent, 
and who, but for the bigotry of his grandfather, 
James the Second, would have sat on the splendid 
throne which he now saw occupied by the German 
alien who was the usurper of his rights. David 


Hume writes to Sir John Pringle on the loth of 
February, 1773: "What will surprise you, Lord 
Marshal, a few days after the coronation of the 
present king, told me that he believed the Young 
Pretender was at that time in London, or at least 
had been so very lately, and had come over to see 
the show of the coronation, and had actually seen 
it. I asked my lord the reason for this strange 
fact ? * Why,' says he, * a gentleman told me 
that saw him there, and that he even spoke to 
him, and whispered in his ears these words, " Your 
Royal Highness is the last of all mortals whom I 
should expect to meet here." "It was curiosity 
that led me," said the other, " but I assure you 
that the person who is the object of all this pomp 
and magnificence is the man I envy the least." 
What if the Pretender had taken up Dymock's 
gauntlet ? ' " 

We have already perhaps lingered at too great 
length on the scenes which have taken place in 
Westminster Hall. But to those who delight in 
graphic descriptions of the manners and customs 
of past times, the picture is one of equal interest, 
whether it be borrowed from the pages of an 
ancient monkish chronicler, or from a gossiping 
writer of modern times ; from the grave chroni- 
cles of Fabian and Matthew Paris, of Hall and 
Holinshed, to the charming pages of Horace Wai- 
pole ; whether it be a description of the Black 
Prince as he gallantly presented himself in West- 


minster Hall after the battle of Poictiers, or of 
George Selwyn mystifying with witty nonsense 
the ermined and bedizened Lady Harrington at 
the coronation of George the Third. 

We have mentioned William Rufus, " feasting 
royally" in the eleventh century in Westminster 
Hall, and as a curious contrast we will let Wai- 
pole describe a similar scene as it was presented, 
nearly eight hundred years afterward, in the 
middle of the last century. To George Montague 
he writes on the 24th September, 1761 : "For the 
coronation, if a puppet show could be worth a 
million, that is. The multitudes, balconies, guards, 
and processions made Palace Yard the liveliest 
spectacle in the world ; the hall was the most 
glorious. The blaze of lights, the richness and 
variety of habits, the ceremonial, the benches of 
peers and peeresses, frequent and full, was as 
awful as a pageant can be ; and yet, for the king's 
sake and my own, I never wish to see another, 
nor am impatient to have my Lord Effingham's 
promise fulfilled. The king complained that so 
few precedents were kept for their proceedings. 
Lord Effingham owned the earl marshal's office 
had been strangely neglected ; but he had taken 
such care for the future that the ' next coronation ' 
would be regulated in the most exact manner 
imaginable. The number of peers and peeresses 
present was not very great ; some of the latter 
with no excuse in the world appeared in Lord 


Lincoln's gallery, and even walked about the hall 
indecently in the intervals of the procession. My 
Lady Harrington, covered with all the diamonds 
she could borrow, hire, or seize, and with the air 
of Roxana, was the finest figure at a distance ; 
she complained to George Selwyn that she was 
to walk with Lady Portsmouth, who would have a 
wig and a stick. 'Pooh,' said he, 'you will only 
look as if you were taken up by the constable.' 
She told this everywhere, thinking the reflection 
was on my Lady Portsmouth. Lady Pembroke 
alone, at the head of the countesses, was the pic- 
ture of majestic modesty ; the Duchess of Rich- 
mond as pretty as nature and dress, with no pains 
of her own, could make her ; Lady Spenser, Lady 
Sunderland, and Lady Northampton very pretty 
figures ; Lady Kildare still beauty itself, if not 
a little too large. The ancient peeresses were 
by no means the worst party. Lady West- 
moreland still handsome, and with more dignity 
than all. The Duchess of Queensbury looked 
well, though her locks are milk-white ; Lady 
Albemarle very genteel ; nay, the middle age had 
some good representatives in Lady Holderness, 
Lady Rochford, and Lady Strafford, the per- 
fectest little figure of all. My Lady Suffolk 
ordered her robes, and I dressed part of her head, 
as I made some of my Lord Hertford's dress, for 
you know no profession comes amiss to me from 
the tribune of the people to a habit maker. Don't 


imagine that there were not figures as excellent 
on the other side ; old Exeter, who told the king 
he was the handsomest man she ever saw ; old 
Effingham, and a Lady Say and Scale, with her 
hair powdered, and her tresses black, was an 

excellent contrast to the handsome. Lord B 

put on rouge upon his wife and the Duchess of 
Bedford in the Painted Chamber. The Duchess of 
Queensbury told me of the latter, that she looked 
like an orange peach, half red and half yellow. 
The coronets of the peers and their robes dis- 
guised them strangely ; it required all the beauty 
of the Dukes of Richmond and Marlborough to 
make them noticed. One there was, though of 
another species, the noblest figure I ever saw, the 
High Constable of Scotland, Lord Errol ; as one 
saw him in a space capable of containing him, one 
admired him. At the wedding, dressed in tissue, 
he looked like one of the giants in Guildhall new 
gilt. It added to the energy of his person, that 
one considered him acting so considerable a part 
in that very hall where so few years ago one saw 
his father, Lord Kilmarnock, condemned to the 
block. The champion acted his part admirably, 
and dashed down his gauntlet with proud defiance. 
His associates, Lord Effingham, Lord Talbot, and 
the Duke of Bedford were woful ; Lord Talbot 
piqued himself on backing his horse down the 
hall, and not turning its rump toward the king, 
but he had taken such pains to dress it to that 


duty, that it entered backwards, and at his retreat 
the spectators clapped, a terrible indecorum." 

On the 1 6th of April, 1765, William, fifth Lord 
Byron, was tried before his peers in Westminster 
Hall, for the manslaughter of William Chaworth, 
Esq. The circumstances under which Lord Byron 
killed his neighbour and friend, we have already 
related in our notices of Pall Mall. The duel, 
originating in a most trifling dispute, took place 
in the Star and Garter Tavern in that street ; the 
combatants fighting with swords in a solitary apart- 
ment, without witnesses or seconds, and by the 
light of a single candle. Fortunately for Lord 
Byron, Mr. Chaworth was able before he died to 
exonerate his antagonist from blame, and to declare 
the duel to have been a fair one. Horace Walpole 
writes to the Earl of Hertford : " Lord Byron has 
not gone off, but says he will take his trial, which, 
if the coroner brings in a verdict of manslaughter, 
may, according to precedent, be in the House of 
Lords, and without the ceremonial of Westminster 
Hall. George Selwyn is much missed on this 
occasion, but we conclude it will bring him over." 
The following month Gilly Williams writes to 
George Selwyn : " I suppose Byron has told 
you himself, that he intends to surrender as soon 
as Westminster Hall is ready for him. It will be 
a show for a day to the queen and the foreign 
ministers, but cannot possibly be attended with 
any ill consequences to the culprit." Lord Byron 


was found guilty by his peers, there being a major- 
ity of one hundred and fourteen against four ; but 
claiming the privilege of peerage under a statute 
passed in the reign of Edward the Fourth, he was 
discharged. The eccentricities of this extraordi- 
nary person, his subsequent strange career, living 
in a state of austere and almost savage seclusion, 
have been rendered familiar to us by the memoirs 
of his no less eccentric heir and great nephew, the 
author of " Cain " and " Don Juan." 

On the 1 5th of April, 1776, the profligate and 
once beautiful Duchess of Kingston underwent 
her trial in Westminster Hall, for having married 
Evelyn Pierrepont, Duke of Kingston, her first 
husband, Augustus, third Earl of Bristol, being 
still alive. Hannah More, who was present, thus 
describes the scene : " Garrick would have me 
take his ticket to go to the trial of the Duchess of 
Kingston, a sight which for beauty and magnifi- 
cence exceeded anything which those who were 
never present at a coronation or trial by peers 
can have the least notion of. Mr. Garrick and I 
were in full dress by seven. You will imagine the 
bustle of five thousand people getting into one hall ; 
yet in all this hurry we walked in tranquilly. When 
they were all seated, and the king-at-arms had com- 
manded silence on pain of imprisonment (which, 
however, was very ill observed), the gentleman of 
the black rod was commanded to bring in his pris- 
oner. Elizabeth, calling herself Duchess Dowager 


of Kingston, walked in, led by black rod and M. 
La Roche, curtseying profoundly to her judges. 
The peers made her a slight bow. The prisoner 
was dressed in deep mourning ; a black hood on her 
head, her hair modestly dressed and powdered, a 
black silk sacque with crape trimmings, black gauze, 
deep ruffles, and black gloves. The counsel spoke 
about her an hour and a quarter each. Dunning's 
manner is insufferably bad, coughing and spitting 
at every three words, but his sense and his 
expression pointed to the last degree ; he made 
her Grace shed bitter tears. The fair victim had 
four virgins in white behind the bar. She imi- 
tated her great predecessor, Mrs. Rudd, and 
affected to write very often, though I plainly 
perceived she only wrote as they do their love 
epistles on the stage, without forming a letter. 
The duchess has but small remains of that beauty 
of which kings and princes were once so enam- 
oured. She looked much like Mrs. Pritchard. 
She is large and ill-shaped, there is nothing white 
but her face, and had it not been for that, she 
would have looked like a bale of bombasine. 
There was a great deal of ceremony, a great deal 
of splendour, and a great deal of nonsense ; they 
adjourned upon the most foolish pretences imagi- 
nable, and did nothing with such an air of business 
as was truly ridiculous. I forgot to tell you the 
duchess was taken ill, but performed it badly." 
The writer adds, in a subsequent letter : " I have 


the great satisfaction of telling you, that Eliza- 
beth, calling herself Duchess Dowager of Kings- 
ton, was this very afternoon undignified and 
unduchessed, and very narrowly escaped being 
burned in the hand. If you have been half so 
much interested against this unprincipled, artful, 
licentious woman as I have, you will be rejoiced at 
it as I am. Lord Camden breakfasted with us. 
He is very angry that she was not burned in the 
hand ; he says, as he was once a professed lover of 
hers, he thought it would have looked ill-natured 
and ungallant for him to propose it, but that he 
should have acceded to it most heartily, though he 
believes he should have recommended a cold 
iron." The duchess claimed the benefit of the 
peerage, under the statute of the first of Edward 
the Sixth, and was accordingly discharged with- 
out punishment. The subsequent history of the 
eccentric duchess is well known. 

One of the most remarkable trials which have 
taken place in Westminster Hall, or perhaps in 
any country or age, was that of Warren Hastings, 
who was arraigned on the I2th of February, 1788, 
for alleged tyranny over the native princes and 
the dusky population of Hindustan. Few men 
have ever conferred greater services on their coun- 
try, or have been more deserving of its gratitude. 
This great man had recently returned from his 
dominion over the vast empire of the East, followed 
by the blessings of thousands, and leaving behind 


him a name which was revered, even where it had 
been most dreaded. When he reached his native 
country, he was still in the prime of life ; eager 
to take that share in the great political struggles 
of the day, for which his genius so well adapted 
him, and expecting that his brilliant services in 
the East would be repaid with those honours and 
rewards which they so well merited. But a dif- 
ferent fate awaited him. He had scarcely set his 
foot in England, when he found himself a pro- 
scribed man ; assailed in all quarters as a tyrant 
and despot, and compelled to oppose himself, 
almost alone and unsupported, to a united and 
powerful party, at the head of whom were arrayed 
the giant intellects of Burke, Sheridan, and Charles 
James Fox. The trial, or rather persecution, of 
Warren Hastings lasted no less than nine years, 
and when the verdict of acquittal was at length 
pronounced, it was when the vigour of life had 
passed away, and when, having expended his for- 
tune in the struggle, he found himself, compara- 
tively speaking, a ruined man. 

The celebrated trial scene of Warren Hastings, 
in Westminster Hall, has been graphically and 
beautifully painted by Mr. Macaulay. 

"The place," he says, "was worthy of such a 
trial. It was the great hall of William Rufus, the 
hall which had resounded with acclamations at 
the inauguration of thirty kings, the hall which 
had witnessed the just sentence of Bacon, and 


the just absolution of Somers, 1 the hall where the 
eloquence of Strafford had for a moment awed 
and melted a victorious party inflamed with just 
resentment, the hall where Charles had confronted 
the high court of justice with the placid cour- 
age which has half redeemed his fame. Neither 
military nor civil pomp was wanting. The ave- 
nues were lined with grenadiers. The streets 
were kept clear by cavalry. The peers, robed in 
velvet and ermine, were marshalled by the heralds 
under garter-king-at-arms. The judges in their 
vestments of state attended to give advice on 
points of law. Near a hundred and seventy lords, 
three-fourths of the Upper House, as the Upper 
House then was, walked in solemn order from 
their usual place of assembling to the tribunal. 
The junior baron present led the way, George 
Elliot, Lord Heathfield, recently ennobled for his 
memorable defence of Gibraltar against the fleets 
and armies of France and Spain. The long pro- 
cession was closed by the Duke of Norfolk, earl 
marshal of the realm, by the great dignitaries, and 
by the brothers and sons of the king. Last of all 
came the Prince of Wales, conspicuous by his fine 
person and noble bearing. The gray old walls 

"This is more poetical than true. The proceedings, both 
against Bacon and Somers, took place, not in Westminster Hall, 
but in the old House of Lords. We have merely mentioned 
these facts, lest, in our notices of the hall, we might be supposed 
to have omitted two such remarkable events in its past history 
as the trials of these two celebrated men. 


were hung with scarlet. The long galleries were 
crowded by an audience such as has rarely excited 
the fears or the emulation of an orator. There 
were gathered together, from all parts of a great, 
free, enlightened, and prosperous empire, grace 
and female loveliness, wit and learning, the repre- 
sentatives of every science and of every art. There 
were seated around the queen the fair-haired young 
daughters of the house of Brunswick. There the 
ambassadors of great kings and commonwealths 
gazed with admiration on a spectacle which no 
other country in the world could present. There 
Siddons, in the prime of her majestic beauty, 
looked with emotion on a scene surpassing all the 
imitations of the stage. There the historian of 
the Roman Empire thought of the days when 
Cicero pleaded the cause of Sicily against Verres, 
and when, before a senate which still retained 
some show of freedom, Tacitus thundered against 
the oppressor of Africa. There were seen, side 
by side, the greatest painter and the greatest 
scholar of the age. The spectacle had allured 
Reynolds from that easel which has preserved to 
us the thoughtful foreheads of so many writers 
and statesmen, and the sweet smiles of so many 
noble matrons. It had induced Parr to suspend 
his labours in that dark and profound mine from 
which he had extracted a vast treasure of erudi- 
tion, a treasure too often buried in the earth, too 
often paraded with injudicious and inelegant os- 


tentation, but still precious, massive, and splendid. 
There appeared the voluptuous charms of her to 
whom the heir of the throne had in secret plighted 
his faith. There too was she, the beautiful mother 
of a beautiful race, the St. Cecilia, whose deli- 
cate features, lighted up by love and music, art has 
rescued from the common decay. There were the 
members of that brilliant society which quoted, 
criticised, and exchanged repartees under the rich 
peacock-hangings of Mrs. Montagu. And there 
the ladies, whose lips, more persuasive than those 
of Fox himself, had carried the Westminster elec- 
tion against palace and treasury, shone around 
Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire. The ser- 
geants made proclamation, Hastings advanced to 
the bar and bent his knee. The culprit, indeed, 
was not unworthy of that great presence ; he 
had ruled an extensive and populous country, and 
made laws and treaties, had sent forth armies, had 
set up and pulled down princes ; and in his high 
place he had so borne himself, that all had feared 
him, most had loved him, and that hatred itself 
could deny him no title to glory except virtue. 
He looked like a great man, and not like a bad 
man. A person small and emaciated, yet deriving 
dignity from a carriage which, while it indicated 
deference to the court, indicated also habitual self- 
possession and self-respect, a high and intellectual 
forehead, a brow pensive but not gloomy, a mouth 
of inflexible decision, a face pale and wan but 


serene, on which was written, as legibly as under 
the picture in the council-chamber at Calcutta, 
Mens aqua in arduis ; such was the aspect with 
which the great proconsul presented himself to 
his judges." 

The only other event of any interest associated 
with Westminster Hall the last occasion also 
on which it presented the striking splendour of 
ancient times was the coronation of George 
the Fourth, which was solemnised on the ist of 
August, 1820. At the magnificent banquet, the 
king sat on a gorgeous throne, on a raised dais, 
immediately under the great window at the south 
end of the hall. At long ranges of tables were 
seated the guests, including the peers, and the 
knights of the different orders, in their robes ; 
every ceremonial was followed which had been in 
use in the days of the Tudors and Plantagenets ; 
and lastly, the champion Dymoke rode into the 
fine old hall attended by the Duke of Wellington 
as High Constable of England, and the Marquis of 
Anglesea as lord high steward, both of them also 
on horseback. The total expense of the corona- 
tion ceremony of George the Fourth, the pageant 
of a day, was estimated at one hundred and fifty 
thousand pounds. 



Early Places of Worship on Its Site Erection of the Present 
Edifice Scenes and Ceremonies in It Poets' Corner 
Chapels of St. Edmund, St. Nicholas, St. Paul, Edward the 
Confessor, Islip, Henry the Seventh Cloisters Jerusalem 
Chamber Chapter House. 

WILLINGLY would we enter into a detailed his- 
tory of Westminster Abbey, and dwell at leisure 
on its ancient monuments, its architectural magnif- 
icence, its host of romantic and historical asso- 
ciations. But volumes might be written on the 
subject, while the character of the present work 
compels us to restrict ourselves to a brief history 
of the venerable pile, and the principal objects of 
interest which are contained within its walls. Per- 
haps there is no other religious structure in the 
world which awakens so many heart-stirring 
emotions, or which can boast so many exquisite 
specimens of ancient art, or so many interesting 
monuments to the illustrious dead. Who is there 
who has ever found himself beneath the roof of 
Westminster Abbey, without being struck with 
feelings of admiration and awe, or without being 
sensitive of the influence of the sublime ? Who 


is there who has ever wandered among its tombs 
of departed kings and warriors, of statesmen and 
poets, without becoming the moralist of an hour ; 
or who has ever quitted its walls, without being im- 
pressed with sensations of not unpleasing sadness, 
in which the selfishness of the present hour is en- 
tirely absorbed in memories of the past ? " When 
I look/' says Addison, "upon the tombs of the 
great, every emotion of envy dies within me; 
when I read the epitaphs of the beautiful, every 
inordinate desire goes out ; when I meet with the 
grief of parents upon a tombstone, my heart melts 
with compassion ; when I see the tomb of the par- 
ents themselves, I consider the vanity of grieving 
for those whom we must quickly follow ; when I 
see kings lying by those who deposed them, when 
I consider rival wits placed side by side, or the 
holy men that divided the world with their con- 
tests and disputes, I reflect with sorrow and aston- 
ishment on the little competitions, factions, and 
debates of mankind. When I read the several 
dates of the tombs, of some that died yesterday, 
and some six hundred years ago, I consider that 
great day when we shall all of us be contempo- 
raries, and make our appearance together." Such 
are the reflections which many have felt in wan- 
dering through Westminster Abbey, but which 
none have so beautifully described. 

" Unrivalled work of ages that have gone, 
Thou glorious Abbey, which I gaze upon ! 


How dear to me is thy religious pile, 
Each ancient tomb, and each familiar aisle ! 
Dear, when at noon the vulgar crowd have fled, 
To hear thy walls reecho to my tread ; 
Through the stained glass to mark the sunbeams 


Their blood-red tints upon the marble floor ; 
Come, then, let fancy weave the idle strain, 
And fill with airy forms these aisles again ; 
While rapt Imagination's kindling eye 
Views all the pomp of Papal Rome pass by : 
The mitred Abbot and the torch-lit throng, 
The white-robed chanters of the vesper song ; 
And hooded monks in each deserted stall, 
And Beauty kneeling at confessional ; 
While bards and monarchs of the ancient time, 
Rise from their marble tombs and live in Rhyme." 

The earliest notice which we find of there hav- 
ing been a place of worship on the site of the 
present Westminster Abbey is the account given 
by Sporley, one of its monks, who dates its erec- 
tion to about the year 1 84, when King Lucius is 
reported to have embraced Christianity. Usher 
informs us, on the authority of Fleta, that even at 
this early period it was " specially deputed for the 
burial of kings, and as a treasury or repository of 
their royal ornaments." 

According to the old monkish writers, the 
church built by King Lucius continued to be a 
place of Christian worship either till the persecu- 
tion of the Christians in Britain, in the reign of the 


Emperor Diocletian, or till the irruption into the 
island of a large body of pagan Saxons, about 
the fifth or sixth century, when, on one of these 
two occasions, it was converted into a temple of 
Apollo. In this state it is said to have remained 
till about the year 610, when, having been flung 
down by an earthquake, Sebert, King of the East 
Saxons, erected a new church on the ruins of the 
pagan temple, Mellitus, Bishop of London, insti- 
gating him to persevere in his pious work. In 
connection with the consecration of the new church, 
a curious legend is related, which for centuries 
obtained universal credence. Every preparation 
having been made for the ceremony, St. Peter, 
to whom the church was intended to be dedicated, 
is said to have descended, on a stormy night, on 
the Lambeth side of the river, and to have pre- 
vailed upon one Edric, a fisherman, to ferry him 
over to the opposite side. Desiring the fisherman 
to wait for him, the saint proceeded in the direc- 
tion of the abbey, which was shortly afterward 
miraculously illuminated, accompanied by the voices 
of angels singing choral hymns. On his return to 
the fisherman, St. Peter desired him to tell the 
bishop that the church had no need of further 
consecration ; and, in proof of the truth of the 
man's story, the chrism, and droppings of the wax 
candles, were found the next day in the church. 
The saint further desired Edric to cast his nets 
into the water ; who, having done so, drew them 

Westminster Abbey. 

Photo-etching from an old engraving. 


out again loaded with a miraculous draught of sal- 
mon. St. Peter told him also that neither he nor 
his successors should ever want salmon, provided 
they presented every tenth to his new church. It 
is curious to find this custom kept up as late as 
the end of the fourteenth century ; the fishermen 
still continuing to bring salmon to the high altar, 
and having periodically the honour allowed them 
of sitting at the same table with the prior. 

The accounts of the monkish writers, as regards 
the antiquity of the site of Westminster Abbey as 
a place of religious worship, as well as to its having 
been the site of a temple of Apollo, may very pos- 
sibly be as much without foundation as the legend 
of St. Peter appearing to Edric the fisherman. It 
is quite impossible, indeed, to reduce to anything 
like fact the confused accounts given us by the old 
chroniclers, and, with the exception of the certainty 
that there existed a monastic establishment here 
in the early part of the seventh century, we are left 
almost entirely in the dark as to its real history, 
till Edward the Confessor pulled down the old 
building, and erected on its site a structure worthy 
of the religion to which it was dedicated. 

The Confessor appears to have taken the deep- 
est interest in the new pile which he so piously 
reconstructed, " pressing on the work," says Sul- 
cardus, " very earnestly, and appropriating to it a 
tenth of his entire substance in gold, silver, cattle, 
and all other possessions." This church, which 


was commenced in 1049 an< ^ completed in 1066, 
appears to have been one of the first built in the 
shape of a cross, and, according to Matthew Paris, 
became an example much followed in the construc- 
tion of other churches. Not content with its archi- 
tectural adornment, the pious Confessor filled it 
with all kind of relics. Here, says Dort, were 
" part of the place and manger where Christ was 
born ; some of the frankincense offered to him by 
the Eastern Magi ; of the table of our Lord ; of 
the bread which he blessed ; of the seat where he 
was presented in the Temple ; of the wilderness 
where he fasted ; of the gaol where he was impris- 
oned ; of his undivided garment; of the sponge, 
lance, and scourge with which he was tortured ; 
of the sepulchre and cloth that bound his head." 
Here, also, were preserved the veil, and some of 
the milk of the Virgin ; the blade-bone of St. Ben- 
edict ; the finger of St. Alphage ; the head of St. 
Maxilla ; and half the jaw-bone of St. Anastasia. 
The Confessor had proposed to consecrate his 
new church with an extraordinary display of mag- 
nificence; and, for this purpose, had summoned 
the prelates and his principal nobles to assemble 
on Innocents' Day, 1065. On the night, how- 
ever, before Christmas Day he was seized with his 
fatal illness, and being unable to quit his chamber, 
his consort, Queen Editha, was compelled to pre- 
side at the ceremony. The Confessor was buried 
within his own church, William the Conqueror 


bestowing a rich pall on his resting-place, and 
Henry the Second subsequently erecting a mag- 
nificent tomb over his remains. 

As we find the unfortunate successor of the 
Confessor, King Harold, proceeding from York to 
Westminster after his accession, it is not improb- 
able that he was crowned in the abbey, as every 
successive sovereign of England has been from the 
time of the Conquest to the present day, from the 
Norman and the Plantagenet to the Stuart and 
the Guelph. It was in the old abbey that William 
the Conqueror solemnly returned thanks after his 
victory over King Harold at the battle of Hast- 
ings, and here he was crowned, on Christmas Day 
following, by the side of the tomb of the Confes- 
sor. Here, in September, 1189, Richard the First 
was crowned in the presence of the "assembled 
archbishops, bishops, earls, barons, and a great 
number of knights ; " and here on the 2/th of 
May, 1 1 99, the crown was placed on the head of 
his brother, King John, "after the manner then 
used, with great solemnity, and no less rejoicing 
of all such as were present." 

Henry the Third, too, was crowned in the 
abbey, when only ten years old, wearing, we are 
told, a plain circlet of gold, the crown worn by his 
predecessors, as well as the rest of the regalia, 
having been lost by King John in the Wash be- 
tween Lincolnshire and Norfolk. Whether the 
church built by the Confessor had fallen to decay, 


or whether Henry the Third was desirous of erect- 
ing a more magnificent structure on its site, is not 
certain ; but, in the year 1244, the latter monarch 
commenced the demolition of the old edifice, and, 
on the 1 3th of October, 1269, a great portion of 
the beautiful abbey as it now stands namely, 
the eastern part, with the choir, to some distance 
beyond the transept was opened for divine ser- 
vice. At the time of Henry's death, the work 
had proceeded no further than the fourth arch 
west of the middle tower, and even the vaulted 
roof of this part was not completed till 1296. 
Edward the First proceeded with the good work 
which his predecessor had commenced ; but the 
two towers were not built till after the Restoration 
of Charles the Second, and the centre tower is 
still wanting. 

At the same time that the finished portion of 
the new church was opened for divine worship, 
King Henry removed the remains of Edward the 
Confessor from their old resting-place into the 
present " chapel at the back of the high altar, 
and there laid them in a rich shrine," which he 
had piously caused to be erected. The ceremony 
was performed with great solemnity and splendour, 
the king and many of his nobles, clothed in white 
garments, passing jthe preceding night within the 
walls of the abbey, watching and performing 
their devotions. According to a passage in 
Wykes's "Chronicle," "The king, being grieved 


that the reliques of St. Edward were so poorly 
enshrined, and not elevated, resolved that so great 
a luminary should be placed on high as a candle- 
stick to enlighten the Church. He therefore, on 
the 3d of the ides of October, the day of St. 
Edward's first translation, summoned the nobility, 
magistrates, and burgesses of the realm to West- 
minster, to attend this solemn affair. At that 
time, the coffin being taken out of the old shrine, 
the king and his brother, the King of the Romans, 
carried it upon their shoulders in view of the 
whole church ; his son Edward, Edmund, Earl of 
Lancaster, the Earl Warenne, and the Lord Philip 
Basset, with as many other nobles as could come 
near to touch it, supporting it with their hands to 
the new shrine, which was of gold, adorned with 
precious stones, and placed in an exalted situa- 
tion." At the conclusion of the ceremony the 
king gave a magnificent banquet in the neighbour- 
ing palace to all who had been summoned to 

We must not omit to mention another remark- 
able religious ceremony which took place in West- 
minster Abbey in this reign. It occurred on St. 
Edward's Day, 1247, on the occasion of the king 
presenting to the abbey church some of the 
blood which was asserted to have trickled from 
the wounds of our Saviour on the cross, and which 
had been sent him from Jerusalem by the Knights 
Templars and Hospitallers, the genuineness of the 


holy relic being attested by the Patriarch of Jeru- 
salem and the archbishop, bishops, and abbots of 
the Holy Land. Having previously sent sum- 
monses to his nobles and prelates to attend him, 
Henry, on the appointed day, rode in a magnificent 
procession to St. Paul's, where a beautiful vase of 
crystal, containing the sacred relic, was delivered 
over to him. Matthew Paris, who was present at 
the ceremony, describes the scene. "The king," 
he says, "commanded that all the priests of Lon- 
don, habited in costly dresses, and bearing stand- 
ards, crosses, and lighted tapers, should, early on 
the morning of St. Edward's Day,. meet reverently 
at St. Paul's. Thither the king himself came, 
and with the utmost veneration receiving the vase 
with the treasure, he bore it openly before him, 
walking slowly, in a humble garb, and without 
stopping, to the church of Westminster. He held 
the vase with both hands, keeping his eyes fixed 
on the vessel, or looking up to heaven, whilst pro- 
ceeding along the dirty and uneven road." A 
pall was held over him on four spears, and two 
persons supported his arms, lest the fatigue should 
be too much for him. Near Durham House in 
the Strand (the palace of the bishops of that see), 
he was met by the abbot and monks of West- 
minster, accompanied by other prelates and ab- 
bots, who, " singing and rejoicing, with tears, in 
the Holy Spirit," accompanied the procession to 
the abbey. Henry, unfatigued, having carried the 


vase around the palace and the monastery, finally 
delivered it in great state, and in the presence of 
an immense concourse of people, to the custody 
of the abbot and monks, to be preserved by them 
as a relic beyond price. " To describe the whole 
course and order of the procession and feast kept 
that day," says Holinshed, "would require a special 
treatise ; but this is not to be forgotten, that the 
same day the Bishop of Norwich preached before 
the king in commendation of that relic, pronounc- 
ing six years and one hundred and sixteen days of 
pardon granted by the bishops there to all that 
came to reverence it." 

It must have been a striking scene, when, in 
the commencement of the succeeding reign, the 
barons swore fealty to the young and warlike 
Edward the First, before the high altar in West- 
minster Abbey. Notwithstanding he was con- 
stantly absent in his wars in Scotland and Wales, 
the new monarch piously proceeded in the work 
of rebuilding the abbey church, and, moreover, 
says Stow, " he caused his father's sepulchre at 
Westminster to be richly garnished with precious 
stones of jasper, which he had brought out of 
France for that purpose." 

In 1306 we find the high altar of the abbey 
presenting another striking scene. Edward the 
First, determined on the subjugation of Scotland, 
and desirous of strengthening his army, issued a 
proclamation for the attendance at the palace of 


Westminster, at the feast of Pentecost, of all those 
who were heirs to estates held by military tenure. 
Accordingly, we are told, three hundred young 
men, the sons of earls, barons, and knights, as- 
sembled at the appointed time, and received 
presents of purple, silk, fine linen, and girdles 
embroidered with gold, according to their respect- 
ive rank. At night, by the king's command, the 
Prince of Wales, with some of the young men of 
the highest rank, kept watch within the abbey, 
when, we are informed, such was the clamour 
created by their trumpets, pipes, and vocifera- 
tions, that the service of the choir was rendered 
perfectly inaudible. The next day, the ceremo- 
nies were renewed, when the king girded his son 
with the belt of a knight, and presented him with 
the Duchy of Aquitaine. The prince, being now 
knighted, proceeded to the high altar, to gird, 
in his turn, the young men his companions, when 
such was the pressure of the crowd that, notwith- 
standing each knight was guarded by at least 
three men at arms, two died, and several fainted 
away. The crowd being removed from the altar, 
the king next made his appearance, and the 
ancient chivalrous ceremonial took place of mak- 
ing a bow before the swan, the vow, in the 
present instance, being rendered the more remark- 
able from its being one of eternal hatred and hos- 
tility sworn against the Scottish nation. With 
great pomp and ceremony, two swans, covered 


with gold network and other ornaments, were 
brought to the altar. Regarding them with a 
fixed look, Edward, surrounded by his nobles and 
in the midst of his people, swore a solemn oath, 
" by the God of heaven and the swans," that he 
would revenge himself on the Scots ; adjuring his 
son and the assembled barons, that, should he die 
before he had accomplished his purpose, they 
should carry his body before them into Scotland, 
and not commit it to the tomb till they had 
humbled their enemies to the dust. Edward, as 
is well known, died on his way to Scotland, in 
the neighbourhood of Carlisle. In his last mo- 
ments he sent for the prince his son, and enjoined 
him in the most solemn manner to prosecute the 
war, and to carry his "dead bones" with the 
army till he had pierced the very extremity of 
Scotland. " He called his eldest son," says Frois- 
sart, "and made him swear by the saints, in the 
presence of all the barons, that as soon as he 
should be dead he would have his body boiled in 
a large cauldron, until the flesh should be sepa- 
rated from the bones ; that he would have the 
flesh buried and the bones preserved ; and that 
every time the Scots should rebel against him he 
would summon his people and carry against them 
the bones of his father ; for he believed most 
firmly that, as long as his bones should be carried 
against the Scots, those Scots would never be 
victorious." How far the second Edward followed 


the dying injunctions of his father is well known, 
but we must not depart from our history of the 

The coronation of Edward the Second took 
place in Westminster Abbey with great magnifi- 
cence. The procession from the palace to the 
church was headed by the earl marshal, Aylmer, 
Earl of Pembroke, carrying the golden spurs ; 
then came the Earl of Hereford, holding the 
sceptre with the cross ; then the king's cousin, 
Henry of Lancaster, carrying a second sceptre 
surmounted with the dove ; next followed the 
Earls of Lancaster, Lincoln, and Warwick, bear- 
ing the swords of state ; afterward came four 
noblemen, carrying the regal vestments ; then the 
high treasurer with the patera of the chalice of 
Edward the Confessor; then the king's favour- 
ite, Piers de Gaveston, bearing the crown orna- 
mented with precious stones ; and lastly, Edward 
himself, walking under a splendid canopy sup- 
ported by the barons of the Cinque Ports. The 
following is the coronation oath taken by Edward 
the Second, with its ancient orthography : 

" Interrogacio Episcopi. Sire, volez vous graunter et 
garder, et par vostre serment confermir, au poeple d'Engle- 
terre, les leys et les coustumes a eux grauntez par les 
aunciens Rois d'Angleterre voz predecessours, droiterels et 
devoutez a Dieu, et nomement les leys, les coustumes, et 
les fraunchises grauntes au clergie et au poeple par le 
glorious Roy Seint Edward, vostre predecessour ? 


" Responsio Regis. Je les graunt et promet. 

" Sire, garderez vous a Dieu et a Saint Eglise, et au 
clergie et au poeple, pais et acord en Dieu entierement 
solonc vostre poer ? 

" J e I G garderez. 

" Sire, ferez vous paraistre en touz les jugementz ouele 
et droite justice et descrecion en misericorde et verite a 
vostre poeple? 

" Je le ferez. 

" Sire, graunterez vous a tenir et a garder les leys et les 
coustumes droitureles, les quoy la comunaute de vostre 
Reaume aura esleuz, et les defenderez et afforcerez al 
honeur de Dieu a vostre poer ? 

" Je les graunte et promets.*' 

The oath having been taken by the king, 
the ceremony of anointing and consecrating was 
performed by the Bishop of Winchester, the 
Archbishop of Canterbury being prevented from 
attending in consequence of bodily weakness. The 
king's right shoe and spur were put on by the 
queen's uncle, brother to the King of France ; his 
left shoe by the Earl of Pembroke, and his left 
spur by the Earl of Cornwall. Then the king took 
the crown from the altar, and delivered it to the 
bishop, who placed it on the king's head ; and the 
clergy at the same time commencing singing 
the Te Deum, the king was conducted to a raised 
seat in the choir at some distance in advance of 
the altar. The ceremony of the queen's corona- 
tion next followed, after which, at the conclusion 
of the mass, the king again advanced to the high 


altar and received the sacrament in the midst of 
the assembled bishops and abbots. The ceremonial 
being now concluded, the king, with the crown on 
his head and the sceptre in his hand, returned to 
the palace with the same procession which had 
attended him to the abbey, and afterward partook 
of a sumptuous banquet in Westminster Hall. 

When Edward the Third, after his merciless 
ravages and spoliations in France, consented, in 
1361, to the treaty of peace with that country, by 
which John, King of France, obtained his liberty, 
we find Edward and his sons ratifying it with 
solemn oaths and with great ceremony in the 
abbey church of Westminster. Mass having been 
performed by the Archbishop of Canterbury, King 
Edward and the princes arose in the presence of 
the French hostages, and, the torches having been 
lighted, and " crosses held over the eucharist and 
missal," swore upon the "sacred body of our 
Lord," to preserve inviolate the peace which had 
that day been agreed upon. The same oath was 
then taken by the English barons who were pres- 
ent, and was elsewhere repeated by the French 
nobles who were in England. 

Richard the Second, when in his eleventh year, 
was crowned at Westminster with great magnif- 
icence ; when so fatiguing was the long and tedious 
ceremony that, at the close of the day, he was 
compelled to be carried to his apartment in a litter. 
A few years afterward the abbey had a narrow 


escape from the ignorance and violence of Wat 
Tyler and his followers. They broke open the 
exchequer, destroyed the records, violated the 
sanctuary, and put to death one of the king's 
servants, who vainly clung to the shrine of Edward 
the Confessor for protection. As soon as the rebels 
had taken their departure, the king proceeded 
to the abbey with some of his barons to ascertain 
the extent of mischief which they had committed. 
" After dinner, about two of the clock," says Stow, 
"the king went from the wardrobe, called the 
royal, toward Westminster, attended by the num- 
ber of two hundred persons, to visit St. Edward's 
shrine, and to see if the commons had done any 
mischief there. The abbot and convent of that 
abbey, with the canons and vicars of St. Stephen's 
Chapel, met him with rich copes in procession, 
and led him by the charnel-house into the abbey ; 
then to the church, and so to the high altar, where 
he devoutly prayed and offered. After which he 
spake with the anchoret, to whom he confessed 
himself ; then he went to the chapel, called our 
Lady in the Pew, where he made his prayers." 
It was on this very day, after quitting Westmin- 
ster, that the young king met the rioters at Smith- 
field, on the famous occasion when the valiant 
Lord Mayor of London, Sir William Walworth, 
struck their leader, Wat Tyler, to the earth, in 
the presence of his followers. 

Let us introduce a description of one more 


splendid ceremony which took place in Westmin- 
ster Abbey, and then proceed to notice the prin- 
cipal objects of interest in the ancient pile. The 
occasion to which we refer is the coronation of 
Henry the Fourth, which took place on the 13th 
of October, 1399. "Having confessed himself, as 
he had good need to do," says Froissart, "the 
king went to the church in procession, and all 
the lords with him in their robes of scarlet, furred 
with minever, barred on their shoulders according 
to their degrees, and over the king was borne a 
cloth of estate of blue and four bells of gold, and 
it was borne by four burgesses of the port of 
Dover and others. And on each side of him he 
had a sword borne, the one the sword of the 
Church, and the other the sword of justice. The 
sword of the Church his son the prince did bear, 
and the sword of justice, the Earl of Northumber- 
land, and the Earl of Westmoreland bore the scep- 
tre. Thus they entered into the church about 
nine of the clock, and in the midst of the church 
there was a high scaffold all covered with red, 
and in the midst thereof there was a chair-royal 
covered with cloth of gold. Then the king sat 
down in the chair, and so sat in estate-royal, sav- 
ing he had not on the crown, but sat bareheaded. 
Then, at the four corners of the scaffold, the 
Archbishop of Canterbury showed unto the people 
how God had sent unto them a man to be their 
king, and demanded if they were content that he 


should be consecrated and crowned as their king ; 
and they all with one voice said ' Yea ! ' and held 
up their hands, promising faith and obedience. 
Then the king rose, and went down to the high 
altar to be consecrated, at which consecration there 
were two archbishops and ten bishops ; and before 
the altar there he was despoiled out of all vestures 
of estate, and there he was anointed in six places, 
on the head, the breast, and on the two shoul- 
ders behind, and on the hands. Then a bonnet 
was set on his head, and, while he was anointing, 
the clergy sang the litany, and such service as 
they sing at the hallowing of the font. Then the 
king was apparelled like a prelate of the Church 
with a cope of red silk, and a pair of spurs with a 
point without a rowel ; then the sword of justice 
was drawn out of the sheath and hallowed, and 
then it was taken to the king, who did put it again 
into the sheath ; then the Archbishop of Canter- 
bury did gird the sword about him ; then St. 
Edward's crown was brought forth and blessed, 
and then the archbishop did set it on the king's 
head. After mass the king departed out of the 
church in the same estate, and went to his palace, 
and there was a fountain that ran by divers 
branches white wine and red." 

There may, perhaps, be other religious edifices 
in Europe which may boast as many sumptuous 
monuments to kings and statesmen and heroes as 
Westminster Abbey, but in what church or in 


what cathedral shall we find a spot possessed of 
such unique interest as Poets' Corner ! It would 
almost amount to affectation, to endeavour, by any 
ornament of language or extraneous observations, 
to enhance the emotions which even the most cold 
and unimaginative must feel on entering this hal- 
lowed spot. It is sufficient to remember that, 
beneath and around us, lies the dust of those 
gifted beings, whose immortal effusions of fancy 
and genius have so often kindled our imaginations 
or melted our hearts. Many of them, too, were 
in their lifetimes the children of misfortune, for, 
alas ! misfortune and genius are too often united, 
and the laurel has too often been moistened with 
tears, and the emotions, therefore, which are 
always excited by a pilgrimage to the tomb of 
genius are doubled, in the present instance, by 
the memory of many a tale of misery and priva- 
tion ; of many a struggle with penury, and many 
a triumph over neglect. 

Almost side by side with the author of the " Can- 
terbury Tales " the first of our poets who was 
buried here lie the remains of him to whom we 
owe the glorious imagery of the " Faerie Queene ; " 
the eye rests on the mouldering tomb of Chaucer, 
and now on that of Spenser, who, by his own wish, 
was buried near the great father of English verse. 
On this spot it was that Spenser was lowered into 
the earth, while the great and the noble stood 
around the grave of him whom in his lifetime they 


had allowed to starve ; and here it was that all the 
poets of the day including, perhaps, the immor- 
tal Shakespeare himself threw poetical tributes 
on the coffin which contained his sacred remains. 
Raising our eyes, the memorable epitaph, " O rare 
Ben Jonson," tells us that we are standing on the 
resting-place of the great dramatic poet ; he whose 
inimitable humour, and exquisite and fanciful 
masks, have been the delight of successive gen- 
erations. Passing on, we find ourselves at one 
moment standing by the tomb of Dryden, and now 
by that of Cowley ; and, as we read on the latter 
the name of its founder, the Duke of Buckingham, 
we smile to think how the frolic duke cudgelled 
the one poet and raised a tomb over the other. 
There are monuments also to poets whose names 
are scarcely less familiar to us in the literary his- 
tory of our country. Now the eye glances on the 
tomb of Michael Drayton, the courtier poet, 
the author of the " Polyolbion," the unfortunate 
dependent at the tables of the great ; advancing 
to another spot, we stand by the tomb of one more 
fortunate, Nicholas Rowe, the translator of Lucan's 
" Pharsalia," and the author of the " Fair Peni- 
tent " and "Jane Shore;" now we stand by the 
mural monument of Christopher Anstey, the author 
of the witty " New Bath Guide ; " and now by that 
of Thomas Shadwell, once the rival of the great 
Dryden, and immortalised by him as the original 
of Mac Flecnoe. How singular that the two rival 


poets he who penned the inimitable satire, and 
he who writhed under its bitterness should rest 
peaceably together under the same roof ! 

Let us turn from the monument of the states- 
man and poet, Matthew Prior, to that of his friend, 
the gentle, the beloved, the single-hearted, Gay. 
We have only to glance over the inscription on 
the tomb of the latter, to perceive that it was the 
affectionate attachment of the noble Queerisberry 
and his fair duchess which raised the interesting 
monument over the dust of the departed poet. 
How forcibly do these names recall to us the history 
of a past age ! those days when the duchess was 
the lovely "Kitty" of Prior's verse, and when 

" Gay was nursed in Queensberry's ducal halls." 

When we see those familiar names inscribed on 
the same tomb, can we help regretting that the 
patron and the poet those who, divided as they 
were by the distinctions of rank, were yet so united 
by friendship and love were not laid side by 
side, tenants of the same tomb ! 

" Thanks to the great for what they took away, 
And what they left me, for they left me Gay ; 
Left me to see neglected genius bloom, 
Neglected die, and write it on his tomb ; 
Of all his blameless life this sole return, 
My verse, and Queensberry weeping o'er his tomb ! " 

We have as yet merely recorded the names of 
those poets whose monuments are conspicuous 


objects in Poets' Corner. But here, too, lie the 
remains of men of a different order of genius, but 
whose names are scarcely less illustrious. Here 
is the monument of the great composer, Handel, 
whose glorious melody has so often enraptured 
thousands, as it rolled along the vaulted roof and 
fretted aisles beneath which the magician sleeps so 
calmly ; here rests the great antiquary, Camden, 
and the memorable critic and scholar, Isaac Casau- 
bon ; from the monuments of the celebrated phil- 
osophers and divines, Isaac Barrow, Hales, and 
South, we turn to the memorial of the gay and 
witty St. Evremond, associated with the frolic 
annals of the court of Charles the Second ; and 
from the monument of St. Evremond, we turn to 
the simple tribute to Granville Sharp, the philan- 
thropist, or to the conspicuous recumbent figure 
of Doctor Busby, the famous headmaster of West- 
minster School, the schoolmaster of Dryden, and 
of half the poets and prelates of the seventeenth 

Neither must we forget those whose mimic 
genius awoke at will the laughter or the tear, and 
who drew down upon them the applause of thou- 
sands in the lighted theatre, in the past days when 
they fretted their hour upon the stage. Let us 
linger a moment beneath the sumptuous monu- 
ment of Garrick, to ponder on his genius and his 
triumphs ; and then let us wander on to the hum- 
bler memorial of the scarcely less celebrated actor, 


Barton Booth! He it was, who, when he was still 
a thoughtless boy at Westminster School, hav- 
ing his head turned by the sensation which he 
created when acting in one of Terence's plays, 
and forgetful of his descent from an ancient family, 
quitted the tutorship of Busby, of whom he was 
the favourite pupil, and, with apparently no other 
advantages but melody of voice, and beauty and 
elegance of person, became, by industry and appli- 
cation, the great actor, whose exquisite delineation 
of human passions drew down upon him the ap- 
plause of millions in his lifetime, and after his 
death procured him the honour of a burial-place in 
Poets' Corner. From the monument of Booth, 
we pass on to that of the charming actress, Mrs. 
Prit chard. Lastly, though without any record of 
their resting-place, here rest the remains of the 
great actor, John Henderson, who, we are told, 
whether he acted in the character of Falstaff, 
or Hamlet, was equally great in both, the same 
inimitable actor, whether he figured in the ludicrous 
or in the sublime. 

In wandering through Poets' Corner, let us not 
forget that beneath our feet lie the remains of 
many of the illustrious dead, to whose memory 
the gratitude of their countrymen has reared no 
memorial of their resting-place. On the pavement, 
however, scattered among the names and epitaphs 
of persons of little note, may be traced, with some 
slight difficulty, the gravestones of no less remark- 


able persons than Thomas Parr, who lived in the 
reign of ten sovereigns, and who did penance at 
the age of one hundred and thirty for being the 
father of an illegitimate child ; of the celebrated 
poet, Sir William Davenant ; of Macpherson, the 
translator, or rather author of " Ossian ; " of Cum- 
berland, the dramatic writer ; of Doctor Johnson ; 
of Richard Brinsley Sheridan ; and lastly, of 
Thomas Campbell, the author of "The Exile of 
Erin" and "Hohenlinden." To the disgrace 
alike of their contemporaries and of posterity, the 
burial-places of the great dramatic poet, Francis 
Beaumont, and of Sir John Denham, the author 
of " Cooper's Hill," are distinguished neither by 
name nor date. 

If there are poets buried in Poets' Corner to 
whom there are no monuments, so also are there 
monuments to poets whose burial-places are far 
away. Shakespeare lies buried at Stratford-on- 
Avon, and Milton in the church of St. Giles's, 
Cripplegate, where his body was discovered a few 
years since, and one of his fingers converted into 
a tobacco-stopper. John Phillips, the author of 
"The Splendid Shilling," lies interred in Here- 
ford Cathedral; Samuel Butler, the author of 
" Hudibras," in the churchyard of St. Paul's, 
Covent Garden ; Addison in Henry the Seventh's 
Chapel ; Thomson at Richmond, in Surrey ; Gold- 
smith in the Temple churchyard ; Gray in the 
churchyard of Stoke Pogis, and Mason, I know 


not where. That Poets' Corner should have been 
selected to hold the monuments of these cele- 
brated men is in a great degree to be regretted, 
inasmuch as we are apt to misplace our sentiment 
by imagining that we are standing on the dust of 
departed genius, whereas we are only gazing on 
their cenotaphs. 

Curiously misplaced among the monuments to 
poets and philosophers, may be traced, between 
the recumbent effigies of South and Busby, part 
of the half-ruined tomb of Anne of Cleves. We 
might be inclined to shed a tear over the grave of 
an unfortunate princess, who had been conducted 
from a distant land, and perhaps a beloved home, 
to share the bed of so unfeeling a tyrant as Henry 
the Eighth ; but, unfortunately, the ridiculous is apt 
to prevail over the sublime, and we call to mind 
rather the obese and ill-favoured female, of whom 
Henry inquired, when she was first introduced to 
him, " if they had brought him a Flanders mare." 

Passing to the right through an iron grating, 
we find ourselves in the chapel of St. Benedict. 
Among other memorials which it contains is a fine 
monument to the memory of Frances, Countess of 
Hertford, daughter to the great admiral, Lord 
Howard of Effingham ; another to Lionel, Earl of 
Middlesex, lord treasurer in the reign of James 
the First; and lastly, the tomb of the famous 
Archbishop Langham, who, as his epitaph informs 
us, rose from being a monk of the adjoining abbey 


to be Primate and Chancellor of England, and 
Bishop-Cardinal of Preneste. As we quit St. Bene- 
dict's Chapel, facing us is the ancient tomb of 
Sebert, King of the East Saxons, and of Athel- 
goda, his queen, who both died at the commence- 
ment of the seventh century. Between this chapel, 
also, and that of St. Edmund, may be seen a monu- 
ment, once richly ornamented, to the memory of 
the children of Henry the Third and Edward the 

The next chapel which we enter is that of St. 
Edmund, which is rich with costly and ancient 
monuments. Here a small tomb covers the re- 
mains of William of Windsor and his sister 
Blanche, the infant children of Edward the Third ; 
and here, too, distinguished by their exquisite 
workmanship, are the defaced but still beautiful 
tombs of William de Valence, Earl of Pembroke, 
half-brother to Henry the Third ; of John of 
Eltham, son of Edward the Second, with its beau- 
tiful alabaster effigy ; and of Eleanor de Bohun, 
daughter of Humphrey de Bohun, Earl of Hert- 
ford, and wife of Thomas of Woodstock, Duke 
of Gloucester, youngest son of Edward the Third. 
Here is the monument which Walpole so much 
admired, of Francis Holies, son of John, Earl of 
Clare, which the bereaved father raised to the 
memory of his deceased son ; and lastly, on the 
pavement may be traced a small brass plate, 
of which the inscription, now almost illegible,. 


records that beneath it rest the remains of Robert 
de Waldeby, tutor of Edward the Black Prince, 
afterward Divinity Professor in the University of 
Toulouse, and Archbishop of Dublin. 

From the chapel of St. Edward we stroll on to 
that of St. Nicholas. Here, as in the preceding 
ones, lie the remains of many a gallant knight and 
lovely dame, who in their day figured in the tour- 
nament and the dance. Here is the tomb of Anne, 
Duchess of Somerset, wife of the great Protector, 
and of Mildred, wife of the scarcely less celebrated 
Lord Burleigh ; the names of the Cliffords, the 
Percys, the St. Johns, the Sackvilles, the De 
Veres, and the Stanleys attract the eye at every 
glance ; and from the inscription to a Stanley who 
was knighted by Henry the Seventh on the field 
of Bosworth, we turn to the tomb of a Cecil, who 
was lady of the bedchamber to Queen Elizabeth. 
Here is the interesting old Gothic tomb, in free- 
stone, of Philippa, wife of Edward Plantagenet, 
Duke of York, who was killed at the battle of 
Agincourt ; and here also is the beautiful effigy in 
brass of Sir Humphrey Stanley, the gallant knight 
to whom we have alluded as having been knighted 
by Henry on the field of Bosworth. Lastly, we 
turn to the fine monument of Sir George Villiers, 
and of his wife, Mary Beaumont, created Countess 
of Buckingham, the father and mother of the great 
favourite, George Villiers, Duke of Buckingham. 

We next enter the small but beautiful chapel of 


St. Paul's. Now the eye glances on the effigy 
of Giles, Lord Daubigny, Knight of the Garter, 
and lord chamberlain to Henry the Seventh, and 
now on that of Sir Dudley Carleton, the cele- 
brated ambassador in the reign of James the 
First ; now on the monument of Francis, Lord 
Cottington, who accompanied Charles the First 
and the Duke of Buckingham on their romantic 
expedition to Madrid ; and now on the celebrated 
statesman, William Pulteney, Earl of Bath ; and 
lastly, from the interesting and ancient Gothic 
tomb of Lewis Robsart, Lord Bourchier, standard- 
bearer to Henry the Fifth, we turn to Chantrey's 
colossal statue of James Watt, doubtless a work 
of great merit, but which is sadly misplaced 
among the mouldering monuments to the abbots 
and knights and barons of a past age. 

Let us now pass into the chapel, and pause by 
the shrine of Edward the Confessor, once adorned 
with costly gems, rubies, sapphires, onyxes, and 
pearls, but now presenting a melancholy picture 
of ruin, desolation, and neglect. The once beau- 
tiful shrine was the work of Peter Cavalini, in 
the reign of Henry the Third, who brought from 
Rome, says Weever, "certain workmen, and rich 
porphyry stones, whereof he made that curious, 
singular, rare pavement before the high altar ; and 
with these stones and workmen he did also frame 
the shrine of Edward the Confessor." Here lie 
the remains of the canonised monarch, and of his 


beautiful and gentle Queen Editha ; on this mem- 
orable spot our early sovereigns took their vows 
and paid their devotions ; and here more than one 
of our sovereigns were interred by their dying 
wish, in order that their bones might lie as near 
as possible to those of the holy Confessor. It was 
in front of the shrine of St. Edward, that the 
barons of England, laying their hands on the dead 
body of Henry the Third, swore fealty to his 
young son, Edward the First, then in the Holy 
Land; and lastly, it was while offering up his 
devotions at this spot, that Henry the Fourth was 
seized with the fatal attack of illness, of which 
he died a few hours afterward in the Jerusalem 

Close to the shrine of St. Edward, though with- 
out a monument, lie the remains of the pious and 
charitable Matilda, daughter of Malcolm, King of 
Scotland, and wife of Henry the First. The next 
monument in point of antiquity is the magnificent 
one of Henry the Third, with its mosaic work of 
gold and scarlet, its beautiful panels of porphyry, 
and its fine recumbent image of the king in brass, 
said to be the first brazen effigy ever cast in Eng- 
land. The second of our Norman kings who lies 
buried here is Edward the First. The tomb of 
this great monarch, which is of gray unpolished 
marble, modest, simple, and unornamented, was 
opened in 1770, by permission of the dean, when 
a most interesting spectacle presented itself. " On 


lifting up the lid of the tomb, the royal body was 
found wrapped in a strong linen cloth, waxed on 
the inside ; the head and face were covered with 
a 'sudarium/ or face-cloth of crimson sarsenet, 
wrapped into three folds, conformable to the nap- 
kin used by our Saviour in his way to the cruci- 
fixion, as we are assured by the Church of Rome. 
On flinging open the external mantle, the corpse 
was discovered in all the ensigns of majesty, richly 
habited. The body was wrapped in a fine linen 
cerecloth, closely fitted to every part, even to the 
very fingers and face. Over the cerecloth was a 
tunic of red silk damask, above that a stole of thick 
white tissue crossed the breast, and on this, at six 
inches' distance from each other, quatrefoils fili- 
gree work of gilt metal set with false stones, imi- 
tating rubies, sapphires, and amethysts, etc., and 
the intervals between the quatrefoils on the stole 
powdered with minute white beads, tacked down 
into a most elegant embroidery, in form not unlike 
what is called the true lover's knot. Above these 
habits was the royal mantle of silk crimson satin, 
fastened on the left shoulder with a magnificent 
fibula, of gilt metal richly chased, and ornamented 
with four pieces of red, and four of blue, trans- 
parent paste, and twenty-four more pearls. The 
corpse, from the waist downwards, is covered with 
a rich cloth of figured gold, which falls down to 
the feet, and is tucked beneath them. On the 
back of each hand was a quatrefoil like those on 


the stole. In his right hand is a sceptre, with a 
cross of copper gilt, and of elegant workmanship, 
reaching to the right shoulder. In the left hand 
is the rod and dove, which passes over the shoulder 
and reaches the royal ear. The dove stands on 
a ball placed on three ranges of oak leaves of enam- 
elled green ; the dove is white enamel. On the 
head is a crown charged with trefoils made of gilt 
metal. The head is lodged in the cavity of the 
stone coffin, always observable in those recepta- 
cles for the dead." 

By the side of the monument of Henry the 
Third is that of Eleanor of Castile, the gentle 
and beautiful wife of Edward the First. Her 
tomb is of Petworth marble, and on it rests an 
effigy of copper gilt, lovely as the queen herself 
is said to have been in her lifetime, uninjured by 
the lapse of ages, and in every respect indescrib- 
ably graceful and beautiful. 

We next turn to the tomb of the great and war- 
like Edward the Third. His figure, remarkable for 
its dishevelled hair and long flowing beard, is of 
copper, once gilt, and reclines under a rich Gothic 
shrine. In each hand is a sceptre, and around the 
altar tomb, on which his effigy reposes, are figures 
of his children in brass. 

" Mighty victor, mighty lord, 

Low on his funeral couch he lies. 
No pitying heart, no eye, afford 
A tear to grace his obsequies." 


At the feet of Edward rests his Queen Philippa, 
whose name is endeared to us from the touching 
story of her interceding with her husband to save 
the lives of the heroic burgesses of Calais. Like 
that of her husband, the tomb of Philippa has suf- 
fered severely from the hands of barbarians and 
the silent injuries inflicted by time. Of the fretted 
niches, once containing the statues of thirty kings 
and princes, with which it was formerly adorned, 
scarcely a trace is visible. Not far from the tombs 
of Philippa and her husband is a large stone, for- 
merly plated with brass, beneath which rest the 
remains of the once powerful Thomas of Wood- 
stock, Duke of Gloucester, son of Edward the 
Third, younger brother of the Black Prince, and 
uncle to Richard the Second. 

Close to the tomb of Thomas of Woodstock is 
that of his unfortunate nephew, Richard the Sec- 
ond, and of his consort, Anne, sister of Winceslaus, 
King of Bohemia. Their effigies, of copper gilt, 
were cast by order of Richard in his lifetime. In 
regard to the manner in which the ill-fated king 
was murdered, much difference has existed among 
our historians. That the story of his being knocked 
on the head in Pomfret Castle by Sir Piers Exton 
and the halberts of others of his guards is without 
foundation, there is every reason to believe. The 
fact, indeed, is placed beyond a doubt, that his 
body was publicly exposed at the time, and that 
no mark of violence was perceptible on it ; more- 


over, in recent times, when the tomb of Richard 
and his queen was opened, neither of the skulls 
presented the least mark of fracture or any other 

Enclosed in a chantry of the most beautiful 
Gothic workmanship is the tomb of Henry the 
Fifth, carrying us back in imagination from the 
frolic scenes in Eastcheap, between Prince Hal, 
Falstaff, and Dame Quickly, to the glorious tri- 
umph of English chivalry on the field of Agincourt. 
The helmet, the shield, and the saddle, said to have 
been worn by Henry in that famous battle, are still 
exhibited near his grave. Alas, for the mutilated 
and disgraceful state of this and of every other 
object of interest in Westminster Abbey ! Indeed, 
what with the dirty and dilapidated state of the 
monuments and architectural decorations, the in- 
civility of the vergers, the exaction of the paltry 
admission fee, the manner in which visitors are 
hurried in droves over the edifice, and, worse than 
all, the indifference to everything that is interest- 
ing in history and beautiful in art, displayed by 
the cold Protestant successors of the enthusiastic 
abbots and monks of the olden time, Westmin- 
ster Abbey presents a scene of neglect, desolation, 
and decay, for which it would be impossible to find 
a parallel in any city of Europe. Surely, out of 
the vast revenues enjoyed by the dean and chap- 
ter, they might spare something to render the 
noble establishment, by which they are supported, 


less discreditable to them. Our ruling powers, 
moreover, have recently wasted immense sums on 
the theatrical and meretricious adornments of a 
new House of Lords. Could not they spare an 
insignificant sum to replace the stolen head of the 
victor of Agincourt, or the broken fingers of Mary, 
Queen of Scots ? 

Near the magnificent tomb of Henry the Fifth 
lie the remains of his beautiful wife, Catherine, 
daughter of Charles the Seventh of France, and, 
lastly, in addition to the other royal personages, 
whom we have mentioned as having been interred 
in the Confessor's chapel, may be traced the tombs 
of Margaret, the infant daughter of Edward the 
Fourth, and of Elizabeth Tudor, second daughter 
of Henry the Seventh, who died at Eltham, in her 
fourth year. 

We must not forget to mention that in Edward 
the Confessor's Chapel is preserved the ancient and 
celebrated coronation chair, which was brought 
from Scotland by Edward the First in 1297, to- 
gether with the regalia of the Scottish monarchs. 
We have only to call to mind that in this chair 
have sat at their coronations every one of our 
sovereigns from the time of Edward the First to 
the present time, and what a host of associations 
the reflection conjures up ! In regard to the re- 
markable stone under the seat, various traditions 
were formerly current, and, among others, that it 
was Jacob's pillow, on the night that he had his 


memorable dream. Of its great antiquity, how- 
ever, there can be no doubt. According to some 
authorities, King Fergus was crowned on it three 
hundred and thirty years before Christ, but we are 
not aware that there is any certain proof of its 
having been the coronation seat of the Kings of 
Scotland before the reign of Kenneth the Second, 
who placed it in the palace of Scoon about the year 
840. Fordun, the Scottish chronicler, informs us 
that the following lines, in Latin, were anciently 
engraved on the stone : 

" Except old saws do fail, 

And wizards' wits be blind, 
The Scots in place must reign, 
Where they this stone shall find." 

From the chapel of the Confessor we pass into 
that of St. Erasmus, where, among other monu- 
ments of inferior interest, are those of Hugh and 
Mary de Bohun, grandchildren of Edward the 
First ; of Sir Thomas Vaughan, treasurer of Ed- 
ward the Fourth ; of William of Colchester, abbot 
of Westminster, in 1420 ; and of Henry Carey, 
Lord Hunsdon, first cousin and lord chamberlain 
to Queen Elizabeth. Here also is the remarkable 
tomb of Thomas Cecil, Earl of Exeter. On the 
right side of the recumbent figure of the earl lies 
the effigy of his first wife, Dorothy, daughter of 
John Nevil, Lord Latimer, leaving the other side 
vacant for that of his second wife, Frances, daugh- 


ter of William Brydges, fourth Lord Chandos, who 
survived him. The countess, however, it is said, 
could not brook the indignity of being placed on 
the left side, and though she had no objection to 
moulder in the same vault with her predecessor, 
left express orders in her will that her effigy 
should on no account be placed on the tomb. 

The next of these interesting chapels to which 
we are conducted is a small one, known as Islip's 
Chapel, founded by Abbot Islip, the well-known 
favourite of Henry the Seventh, whose tomb it 
contains. Here, too, lie the remains of Arch- 
bishop Usher, whose name is so intimately asso- 
ciated with the misfortunes of Charles the First, 
but of whose resting-place we believe there is no 

Opposite to Islip's Chapel are the ancient mon- 
uments of Edmund Crouchback, Earl of Lancaster, 
son of Henry the Third ; of Aymer de Valence, 
second and last Earl of Pembroke of his family ; 
of Aveline, the great heiress of William de Forti- 
bus, Earl of Albemarle, and wife of the Earl of 
Lancaster whom we have just mentioned ; and, 
opposite to the latter, that of a hero worthy of 
the days of chivalry, the gallant and lamented 
General Wolfe. Close by is the monument of the 
pious and amiable Brian Duppa, Bishop of Winr 
Chester, who attended his unfortunate master, 
Charles the First, in his misfortunes, and who 
was tutor to Charles the Second. A few hours 


before the dissolution of the venerable prelate, 
the " merry monarch " paid him a visit in his sick- 
chamber, and, kneeling down by his bedside, 
requested his blessing. The dying prelate, with 
one hand on the king's head, and the other lifted 
to heaven, prayed fervently that he might prosper 
and be happy. 

As we wander through the rest of the abbey, 
the monuments being of more modern date, and 
the inscriptions consequently more conspicuous, 
we find but little necessity for a guide, and are 
not sorry to be left to our own reflections. Passing 
into the east aisle of the north transept, we gaze 
for a moment in admiration on the unique and 
beautiful monument of Sir Francis Vere, who 
died in 1608, and thence pass on to Roubiliac's 
painful but no less striking one, to the memory of 
Mrs. Nightingale. Here is the sumptuous monu- 
ment of William Cavendish, Duke of Newcastle, 
the gallant and devoted follower of Charles the 
First, and of his learned and eccentric duchess ; 
and here also is the scarcely less magnificent tomb 
of John Holies, Duke of Newcastle. 

In the north aisle are the monuments of no 
less celebrated men than Lord Mansfield, the 
great Lord Chatham, Charles James Fox, and 
George Canning ; of Warren Hastings, and John 
Kemble; of Sir Humphrey Davy, and Thomas 
Telford, the celebrated civil engineer. In the 
centre of the north transept, within a short distance 


from one another, lie the remains of Chatham, 
Castlereagh, Wilberforce, Grattan, Pitt, and Fox. 

" Drop upon Fox's grave the tear, 
'Twill trickle to his rival's bier ; 
O'er Pitt's the mournful requiem sound, 
And Fox's shall the notes rebound." 

Marmion, Intro, to Canto I. 

In the north aisle of the choir, leading from 
the north transept into the nave, may be traced 
the monuments of the well-known composer and 
musician, William Croft ; of Dr. Charles Burney, 
himself a composer and the author of the " History 
of Music;" and lastly, of the celebrated Henry 
Purcell. How different from the inflated inscrip- 
tion on the tomb of Doctor Burney, written by his 
daughter, Madame D'Arblay, is the brief and 
beautiful epitaph on Purcell, said to have been 
written by Dryden ! " Here lies Henry Purcell, 
Esq., who left this life, and is gone to that blessed 
place where only his harmony can be exceeded." 
It was probably from this epitaph that Doctor 
Johnson borrowed the idea of the exquisite con- 
cluding couplet of his lines to the memory of the 
Welch musician, Claude Phillips : 

" Sleep undisturbed within this peaceful shrine, 
Till angels wake thee with a note like thine." 

Passing into the nave, and keeping along the 
north aisle, the eye is attracted by Rysbrack's 
large monument of Sir Isaac Newton. From 


thence we pass on to that of William Wilberforce, 
and of his contemporary, Spencer Perceval, who 
was shot by Bellingham in the lobby of the House 
of Commons. At the west end of the nave, the 
most conspicuous monument, perhaps, of any in 
the abbey, is that of William Pitt, over the great 
entrance, and near it are the more humble ones 
of Sir Godfrey Kneller, Zachary Macaulay, and 
George Tierney. 

As we wander along the south end of the nave, 
on our return to Poets' Corner, many monuments 
of celebrated persons attract our attention. Nearly 
in the corner is that of James Craggs the younger, 
who succeeded Addison as secretary of state. 
On it are engraved Pope's well-known lines to the 
memory of his friend : 

" Statesman, yet friend to truth ; of soul sincere, 
In action faithful, and in honour dear : 
Who broke no promise, served no private end, 
Who gained no title, and who lost no friend ; 
Ennobled by himself, by all approved, 
Praised, wept, and honoured by the muse he loved." 

It was Peter Leneve, the herald, who, in allusion 
to the lowness of Craggs's origin and the circum- 
stance of his dying before his father, suggested 
that his epitaph should have been, " Here lies the 
last, who died before the first of his family." Near 
the tomb of Craggs lie the remains of the cele- 
brated Atterbury, Bishop of Rochester, once dean 


of the abbey, and of the charming actress, Mrs. 
Oldfield, but there is no memorial to either. 

Close to the monument of Craggs is that of 
the wittiest of dramatic writers, William Congreve, 
whose body, however, lies in Henry the Seventh's 
Chapel. The pall-bearers at his funeral were the 
Duke of Bridgewater, the Earl of Godolphin, Lord 
Cobham, Lord Wilmington, the Hon. George 
Berkeley, and General Churchill, and the monu- 
ment to his memory was erected at the expense of 
the beautiful Henrietta, Duchess of Marlborough, 
as " a mark how dearly she remembers the happi- 
ness she enjoyed in the sincere friendship of so 
worthy and honest a man." "When the younger 
duchess," says Walpole, "exposed herself by 
placing a monument and silly epitaph of her own 
composition and bad spelling to Congreve, in 
Westminster Abbey, her mother, quoting the 
words, said, ' I know not what pleasure she might 
have in his company, but I am sure it was no 
honour.' ' 

From the monument of Congreve we pass on 
to those of the celebrated physician and philos- 
opher, Dr. John Friend ; of the poet, Thomas 
Spratt, Bishop of Rochester, the companion of 
the social hours of Charles the Second and of 
George Villiers, Duke of Buckingham ; of the 
well-known Field-Marshal Wade ; of Sidney, Earl 
Godolphin, the celebrated first minister of Queen 
Anne ; and of Sir John Chardin, the traveller. 


From the monument of the gallant and ill-fated 
Major Andre we turn to that of Thomas Thynne, 
the wealthy Issachar of Dryden's immortal poem, 
who was assassinated by Count Coningsmark, in 
Pall Mall. Lastly, just before we again enter 
Poets' Corner, we trace the monuments of the un- 
fortunate Admiral Sir Cloudesley Shovel, who was 
shipwrecked and drowned on the rocks of Scilly ; 
of Pasquale de Paoli, the brave and accomplished 
asserter of the liberties of Corsica; of the non- 
conformist divine, Isaac Watts, the author of the 
well-known " Hymns ; " of Doctor Bell, the founder 
of the Madras system of education ; and, in strik- 
ing contrast to the staring and tasteless monu- 
ments of modern times, the tomb, of marble and 
alabaster gilt, of William Thynne, the gallant 
soldier in the reign of Henry the Eighth. 

Passing under a gloomy arch of admirable work- 
manship, we suddenly find ourselves in a blaze 
of light and beauty, gazing in admiration at that 
most exquisite creation of human genius, Henry 
the Seventh's Chapel. How sublime is the effect, 
how beautiful the scene ! On each side hang the 
banners of the Knights of the Bath, and above us 
is the vaulted and fretted roof, so marvellous in 
its construction, " suspended aloft as by magic, 
and achieved with the wonderful minuteness and 
airy security of a cobweb." 

And how many celebrated persons, conspicuous 
for their greatness, their genius, or their misfor- 


tunes, rest beneath our feet. In front of us, the 
work of Torregiano, is the magnificent chantry, 
or tomb, of the founder, Henry the Seventh, and 
of his consort, Elizabeth, daughter of Edward the 
Fourth. At the head of the tomb sleeps the 
young King Edward the Sixth ; and close by is 
Westmacott's chaste and beautiful monument of 
Anthony Philip, Duke of Montpensier, brother 
of the present King of France. 

Not the least interesting tomb in this part of 
the chapel is that which contains the murdered 
remains of the celebrated favourite, George Vil- 
liers, Duke of Buckingham ; in the same vault 
lie his two sons, George, the second and witty 
duke, and the young, the gallant, the beautiful 
Lord Francis Villiers, who, being overpowered 
with numbers, was killed in a skirmish with the 
forces of the Commonwealth, near Kingston-on- 
Thames. Here is the monument of one whose 
name is intimately associated with the literary 
history of the last century, John Sheffield, Duke 
of Buckingham ; and under the east window is 
interred the well-known favourite of William the 
Third, Willhm Bentinck, Earl of Portland, but 
without any memorial of his resting-place. Lastly, 
between the knight's stalls, in the centre of the 
nave, lie the remains of George the Second and 
his consort, Queen Caroline ; of Frederick, Prince 
of Wales, and his princess, Augusta of Saxe- 
Gotha; of William, Duke of Cumberland, the 


" Butcher" of Culloden ; and of many other of 
the descendants of George the First. 

Passing into the south aisle of Henry the 
Seventh's Chapel, among the most interesting 
monuments are those of the beautiful Margaret, 
Countess of Lenox, mother of Lord Darnley, the 
husband of Mary, Queen of Scots ; of the cele- 
brated George Monk, Duke of Albemarle, and his 
boisterous duchess ; of Catherine Shorter, the wife 
of Sir Robert, and mother of Horace Walpole; 
and that most exquisite altar tomb the work of 
Torregiano to the memory of Margaret, Count- 
ess of Richmond, the mother of Henry the 
Seventh. Lastly, here is the interesting and 
magnificent monument of the unfortunate Mary, 
Queen of Scots, whose remains were brought 
from Peterborough by her son, James the First, 
to rest beneath the same roof as those of her 
relentless rival, Queen Elizabeth. 

" Together sleep th' oppressor and th' oppressed." 

In the same vault with the beautiful and ill-fated 
queen lie the bodies of the interesting and per- 
secuted Lady Arabella Stuart; of Anne Hyde, 
Duchess of York ; of Queen Mary, the consort 
of William the Third ; and of the young Marcel- 
lus of his day, Henry, Duke of Gloucester, the 
lamented and accomplished son of Queen Anne. 
At the end of this aisle is another royal vault, in 
which are deposited the remains of Charles the 


Second, Prince Rupert, William the Third, and 
of Queen Anne and her consort, Prince George 
of Denmark. 

In the north aisle, the most conspicuous monu- 
ment is the sumptuous one of Queen Elizabeth. 
Here also is the tomb of George Saville, Mar- 
quis of Halifax, the well-known statesmen ; and 
of Charles Montague, Earl of Halifax, the poet : 
In front of this latter monument lie the remains 
of Addison. At the farther end is another royal 
vault containing the bodies of King James the 
'First, of his consort, Queen Anne of Denmark, 
and his accomplished son, Prince Henry ; and 
above it are two quaint monuments, to the mem- 
ory of their infant daughters, Maria and Sophia. 
Close by, an inscription in Latin tells us that 
Here lie the relics of Edward the Fifth, King 
of England, and Richard, Duke of York, who, 
being confined in the Tower, and there stifled with 
pillows, were privately and meanly buried, by 
order of their perfidious uncle, Richard the 
Usurper. Their bones, long inquired after and 
wished for, after lying 190 years in the stairs 
(those lately leading to the chapel of the White 
Tower), were, on the i/th of July, 1674, by un- 
doubted proofs, discovered, being buried deep in 
that place. Charles the Second, pitying their 
unhappy fate, ordered these unfortunate princes 
to be laid among the relics of their predecessors, 
in the year 1678, and the thirtieth of his reign." 


The tomb to the memory of the murdered princes 
has naturally been regarded by thousands with 
deep interest. Whether, however, the bones 
which it contains be really those of Edward the 
Fifth and his younger brother, we fear admits of 
considerable doubt. 

Before quitting Henry the Seventh's Chapel, we 
must not forget to mention that in this aisle, 
though without a monument, lies the body of 
Edward Hyde, the great Earl of Clarendon. 
Here, too, lie the remains of William Con- 
greve, the dramatic poet, and probably in the 
same vault with King James and his queen 
the body of the charming and interesting Eliza- 
beth, Queen of Bohemia. 

For a short time the bodies of Oliver Crom- 
well, his mother, and of the great Admiral Blake 
were allowed to remain in peace among the tombs 
of the Kings of England, in Henry the Seventh's 
Chapel, where they had been severally interred 
with great magnificence. At the Restoration, 
however, it was thought a degradation that their 
dust should mingle with that of royalty; and, 
accordingly, their remains were disinterred, those 
of the great Protector to moulder beneath the 
gibbet, and those of his mother and Blake to 
be flung into a pit in the adjoining churchyard. 
Cromwell's favourite daughter, the interesting 
Mrs. Claypole, was also buried in Henry the 
Seventh's Chapel, but being a member of the 


Church of England, and a devoted royalist, her 
body was allowed to remain undisturbed in its 
resting-place, where, in 1/25, it was discovered 
by some workmen who were employed in repair- 
ing the foundations of the edifice. An attempt 
was made to purloin the silver plate attached 
to it, but the offenders were discovered, and the 
memorial restored. 

Those who would wish to witness, perhaps, the 
most beautiful and impressive scene which Lon- 
don can afford, should wander on a moonlight 
night from Dean's Yard, into the solitary cloisters 
of Westminster Abbey. The sudden transition 
from the noise and bustle of the streets to the 
most solemn stillness ; the gloom of the vaulted 
roof, the light playing on the beautiful tracery 
of the arches, the mouldering tombs of departed 
abbots and monks which lie around us; and, 
above all, the glorious abbey, with its lofty 
towers and massive buttresses steeped in, and 
mellowed by, the moonlight, present altogether 
a scene of beauty and interest, to which no 
language could do justice. 


" There is a cloistered and half-ruined aisle, 
Which girts, proud Westminster, thine ancient pile , 
Close to the crowded scenes of noise and strife, 
Yet here how still the pulse of human life ! 
Save when it tolls, yon iron tongue of time, 
To warn the living with its solemn chime. 
Here, many a night, in happier hours than this, 


When life was new, and solitude was bliss, 

My steps have turned from Folly's senseless bower, 

To woo the beauty of the moonlight hour; 

And now, when years have brought a gloomier lot, 

I tread once more the venerated spot : 

No more its rich monastic courts display 

The holy pageantry, the long array ; 

The hooded tenants of the convent cell 

No more are summoned by the vesper-bell ; 

Yet still how calm and beautiful ! on high 

Hang the far lights that gem the azure sky ; 

And through the open arches I behold 

That pile o'er which a thousand years have rolled ; 

Calm on its lofty towers the moonlight falls, 

Gilding its pinnacles and buttressed walls ; 

Above me frowns the cloister's vaulted gloom, 

Beneath me rest the slumberers of the tomb; 

Some, o'er whose dust affection's tears still flow, 

And some who died a thousand years ago ; 

Learning's pale sons, and Pleasure's laughing crew, 

Warriors whose fame through frightened regions flew ; 

Who waved in Paynim lands their battle-blade, 

And spurned the Crescent in the red Crusade ; 

Beauty whose smile a pleading lover blest, 

Maids of the melting eye, and snowy breast; 

Churchmen, who hurled, unawed by earthly things, 

Their dread anathemas on trembling kings ; 

Saw the mailed warrior humbled at their feet, 

And cited monarchs to their judgment seat. 

What are they now, those meteors of their day, 

The brave, the fair, the haughty, what are they ? 

Whose is this broken slab, this crumbling bust? 

They mark no more the undistinguished dust: 

Look down, ye restless worshippers of fame, 

And read the empty nothing of a name ! " /. H. J. 


In the cloisters of Westminster Abbey may be 
traced the ancient monuments of Abbot Vitales, 
who died in 1082 ; of Gervase de Blois, natural 
son of King Stephen, who died in 1106; of the 
Abbot Chrispinus, who died in 1114; and of 
another abbot, Laurentius, who died in 1 1 76. 
Here also lie buried the great actors, Betterton 
and Barry ; Aphra Behn, celebrated for her gal- 
lantries and dramatic writings ; the beautiful 
Mrs. Gibber, of whom Garrick said, when he 
heard of her death, "Then tragedy has expired 
with her ; " two other celebrated actresses, Mrs. 
Bracegirdle and Mrs. Yates, and the inimitable 
actor and mimic, Samuel Foote. 

Besides the persons we have mentioned, here 
lie the remains of Lawes, the companion of Mil- 
ton, and the composer of the music of " Comus ; " 
of Dr. William King, Archbishop of Dublin, the 
friend and correspondent of Swift ; of Vertue, the 
engraver ; and of Sir John Hawkins, the friend of 
Doctor Johnson, and the author of the " History of 
Music." Here it was that the murdered remains 
of Sir Edmondbury Godfrey, followed by seventy- 
two clergymen and a procession consisting of a 
thousand persons of distinction, were lowered into 
the grave ; and lastly, in the cloisters of West- 
minster Abbey lived Dr. Henry Killegrew, the 
author of the "Conspiracy," and the companion 
of Charles the Second, in his social hours. At 
the house of her father, in these cloisters, died 


the young, the celebrated, the interesting Anne 
Killegrew, of whom Dryden says : 

" Her wit was more than man, her innocence a child." 

We must not forget to mention a remarkable 
scene which took place on a stormy night, in the 
reign of Charles the First, in the dark cloisters 
of Westminster Abbey, and of which the princi- 
pal actor in it, William Lilly, the famous astrol- 
oger, has given us an account in his " Life of 
Himself." One David Ramsay, the king's clock- 
maker, it appears, had taken it into his head that 
a vast treasure was concealed beneath the pave- 
ment of the cloisters. Accordingly, he applied 
in the first instance to Doctor Williams, Bishop 
of Lincoln, then dean of the abbey, who readily 
gave his permission to a search being made, on 
condition that the dean and chapter should re- 
ceive a certain share of any gold that might be 
discovered. Ramsay subsequently disclosed his 
secret to the astrologer Lilly, and, accompanied 
by about thirty other persons, having selected 
a winter's night, they were admitted into the 
cloisters. One John Scott, celebrated for his 
knowledge of " the use of the Mosaical or Miner's 
rod, then began to apply the hazel rods, and these 
beginning to tumble over one another on the west 
side of the cloisters," the searchers were persuaded 
that the treasure lay beneath that particular spot. 
On this "they fell to digging," and, after consider- 


able labour, about six feet deep from the surface, 
came to a coffin. Having lifted it, and poised it, 
they found it so light that they thought it scarcely 
worth while to open it, which, says Lilly, " we 
afterward much repented." The divining rods 
proving of no further assistance in the cloisters, 
the searchers proceeded to the abbey, when, we 
are told, a storm so sudden and violent arose, that 
they were afraid the western entrance of the 
cathedral would have blown down upon them. 
It was then that the astrologer, in the midst of 
the fury of the elements and under the vaulted 
and dimly lighted roof of the old abbey, proceeded 
to give his frightened companions a proof of his 
supernatural powers. To use Lilly's own words, 
" Our rods would not move at all ; the candles 
and torches, all but one, were extinguished, or 
burned very dimly ; John Scott, my partner, was 
amazed, looked pale, and knew not what to think 
or do until I gave directions and command to 
dismiss the demons, which, when done, all was 
quiet again." Terrified by the raging of the 
storm, the gloom of the abbey, and by the 
magical communion which apparently existed 
between the astrologer and the agents of the 
dark fiend, the whole party, it seems, uncer- 
emoniously fled to their respective homes, nor 
does it appear that they ever again ventured 
to disturb the resting-places of the dead. 

Close to the cloisters, at the southwest end of 


the abbey, is the celebrated Jerusalem Chamber, 
built by Abbot Littlington, and anciently forming 
part of the abbot's lodgings. It was in this inter- 
esting apartment that Henry the Fourth breathed 
his last. We have already mentioned that the 
king was paying his devotions at the shrine of 
Edward the Confessor, when he was seized with 
one of those fits to which he had for some time 
been subject. His attendants feared, says Fabian, 
that he would " have died right there ; " but hav- 
ing succeeded in removing him to the abbot's 
apartments, the king recovered his senses, and 
inquired where he was. Being informed that it 
was called the Jerusalem Chamber, he exclaimed, 
to use the words of Shakespeare : 

" Laud be to God ! even there my life must end, 
It hath been prophesied to me many years, 
I should not die but in Jerusalem ; 
Which vainly I supposed the Holy Land," etc. 

Second Part of Henry IV., Act 4, Sc. 4. 

An additional interest is conferred on the Jeru- 
salem Chamber, in consequence of its having been 
the spot where the remains of several celebrated 
men have lain in state, previous to their interment 
in Westminster Abbey. Among these may be 
mentioned, Dr. Robert South, the eminent divine ; 
the Earl of Halifax, the poet ; Sir Isaac Newton ; 
Congreve, the great dramatic writer ; Mrs. Old- 
field, the actress, and, lastly, Thomas Campbell, 
the author of the " Pleasures of Hope." 


Before concluding our notices of Westminster 
Abbey and its precincts, we must not omit to 
mention the interesting and once beautiful Chap- 
ter House, where the Commons of England first 
sat apart from the Lords, as a distinct body, and 
where they continued to hold their Parliaments 
till 1547, when the chapel of St. Stephen's was 
granted them by Edward the Sixth. The build- 
ing itself has been allowed to fall into a lamentable 
state of neglect and decay ; its lofty windows, once 
resplendent with stained glass, have been nearly 
filled up, and the fine roof has been destroyed 
and one of wood substituted. There still, how- 
ever, remains the beautiful Gothic portal leading 
from the cloisters, as well as the light and ele- 
gant central column which helps to support the 
roof ; some interesting remains of the ancient tiled 
pavement of the reigns of Edward the Confessor 
and Henry the Third ; and on the walls have been 
preserved some very curious paintings of the latter 
reign, one of which, a female figure, is of exquisite 
colours and execution. Here, too, are preserved 
the famous Doomsday book, and other ancient 
records. Beneath the Chapter House is the crypt 
of massive and very singular construction, but 
which, for some reason which the author has been 
unable to discover, has been entirely closed for 
nearly a quarter of a century. 



DA Jesse, John Heneage 

683 Historical and literary memo 

J47 rials of the city of London